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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that New York can begin to reopen as planned on a “region-by-region” basis once the state’s stay-at-home order expires on May 15 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“May 15 is when the state wide PAUSE order expires,” Cuomo said during his press conference on Monday. “On May 15 regions can start to reopen and do their own analysis.”


“This is going to be region by region and each region has to put together the leaders in those respective areas and monitor this system literally on a daily basis,” Cuomo added.

Cuomo noted that some regions “pose a lower risk” and some, like New York City, “pose a higher risk.”

Cuomo said Monday that for a region to reopen, it needs to have 30 tests available for every 1,000 residents. Cuomo also said that the state has reduced hospitalizations, saying that there have been “100,000 fewer New Yorkers hospitalized than predicted.”

“New York is doing more tests than any country around the globe. We are way ahead in testing,” Cuomo said. “But in order for a region to reopen, that region has to have a testing capacity of 30 per 1,000 people.”

“These are the facts that they have to have in place to reopen,” Cuomo said. “Do you have a health care system in place? DO you have testing in place? Do you have tracing in place? Have you talked to the businesses?”

Cuomo added that there is “real substantive government work to be done before May 15.”

“This is what local leaders, this is what a community has to deal with to reopen safely and intelligently, in my opinion,” he said. “This can’t just be, ‘We want to get out of the house, we’re going.’ No. Let’s be smart. Let’s be intelligent. Let’s do it based on the facts.”

Cuomo went on to say that government, in general, is in a “fundamentally different position than it was just a couple of months ago.”

“This is for real now,” he said. “Government, politics, it’s not about optics, celebrity, press released…this is about government leaders’ performance, expertise.”

He added: “This is a situation where their competence and their ability can be the difference between life and death — literally.”

Cuomo noted that the state would follow the phased reopening, recommended by the White House, outlining what each would look like.

Cuomo said Phase 1 would be reserved for manufacturing, construction and businesses that are “the most essential and the lowest risk;” Phase 2 would be focused on real estate and administrative functions; Phase 3 would include restaurants reopening; and Phase 4 would include arts, entertainment, sports and education.

“Large gatherings are not your friend,” he said. “Density is not your friend.”


Meanwhile, Cuomo said that New York is still facing a “public health emergency,” and ordered that all New Yorkers be “respectful” and wear face coverings and masks when in public spaces where they are unable to practice social distance.

“'New York tough' means we are tough, but we are disciplined, we are unified, we are loving,” he said. “And it is the love of community and the love of each other and respect for each other which has gotten us through this.”

As of Monday, New York reported more than 313,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 18,000 deaths.