Parts of New York could start to reopen as early as next month.

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On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a phased plan to re-open New York and re-imagine a "new normal" for the state starting with construction and manufacturing. The plan will be implemented in phases and will be based on regional analysis,  determinations and CDC recommendations. The CDC believes a state can start a phased re-opening once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate.

"We've been talking about re-opening the state and re-imagining a new New York, and to do that we're going to have to make governmental decisions in partnership with business decisions," Cuomo said. "Every business leader understands that we can't just re-open and go back to where we were and what we were doing before - we have to move forward in light of the circumstances that have developed. So we are going to re-open the economy in phases, based on regional and specific industry determinations and CDC guidelines, and in the midst of all this continuing to monitor the public health impact because all that progress we made by flattening that curve we could lose in a matter of days if we're not careful."

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According to the governor's office, officials are closely monitoring the hospitalization rate, the infection rate and the number of positive antibody tests, as well as the overall public health impact and will make adjustments to the plan and other decisions based on those factors.

  • Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk.
  • Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered "more essential" with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered "less essential" or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. As the infection rate declines, the pace of reopening businesses will be increased.
  • The region must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
  • There will be two weeks in between each phase to monitor the effects of the re-opening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.
  • This plan will be implemented with multi-state coordination, especially in downstate New York. The plan will also coordinate the opening of transportation systems, parks, schools, beaches and businesses with special attention on summer activities for downstate, public housing and low-income communities, food banks and child care.
  • The phased re-opening will also be based on individual business and industry plans that include new measures to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.
  • The state is consulting with local leaders in each region and industry to formulate these plans.

As of now, Cuomo says his New York on PAUSE executive order will stay in place until May 15. Then officials will assess the COVID-19 numbers by regions in the state.

"As we look forward there will be multiple levels of decisions. Government will set the criteria for a phased reopening. Businesses will reimagine their workplaces & protocols. Individuals will make decisions on their own health. We will build back better. Everyone has to think outside the box — because there is no box," Cuomo tweeted.

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