Coronavirus lockdown: Parts of New York to begin reopening this weekend

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that three regions can begin the first phase of his economic reopening plan Friday when a stay-at-home order expires.

The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley regions -- which include cities like Rochester, Binghamton, and Utica – have been given the green light after meeting criteria like a decline in coronavirus hospitalizations and having enough testing.

However, for other parts of the state that have not met the criteria, such as New York City, the business closures are remaining in place with no clear end date in sight.

“Some regions are ready to go today, they just need to get some logistical pieces in order by the end of the week,” Cuomo told reporters Monday.

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Phase one of Cuomo’s reopening plan will allow the three approved regions to resume their construction and manufacturing industries. Retail stores will be able to open for delivery or pickup, as well as the agriculture, forestry, and fishing businesses.

Cuomo also announced that as of Friday, landscaping and gardening businesses and drive-in movie theaters will be allowed to reopen across the state, while outdoor, “low-risk recreational activities” like tennis will be permitted as well.

The limited reopening announcements come as New York’s daily number of coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths continues to decline.

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The state on Monday reported an additional 161 deaths, a number Cuomo says is “still too high, but better than it has been.”

“So, we see all the arrows are pointed in the right direction,” he added.

New York remains the hardest-hit state with more than 335,000 positive coronavirus cases and more than 26,000 deaths. At least 58,000 have recovered.