Gov. Cuomo talks about phased-in reopening plan for upstate

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined New York’s potential path to reopening its economy Tuesday while cautioning that the coronavirus crisis is “not over.”

The Democratic governor laid out a 12-point plan that includes a series of steps certain parts of the state can soon take in order to get businesses up and running — and hopefully keep a second wave of the pandemic at bay.

“Remember we have gone through hell and back over the past 60 or so days,” Cuomo said during a briefing in Syracuse. “What New Yorkers have done has been to save lives, but we have to stay vigilant. This is not over.”

Different regions of the state will adopt a set of rules that follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and include keeping an eye on hospital capacity and other metrics as part of a “fact-based, data-driven reopening plan for regions that would keep them safe and allow the economy to reopen in phases,” the governor said.

“Emotions can’t drive the reopening process,” Cuomo said. “We have to act as our logical selves here.”

Manufacturing and construction will be the first businesses allowed to return because they “can adopt to the new normal in terms of their employees, in terms of the places of business and in terms of the processes that they put in place.”

State officials said that testing, tracing and being able to isolate those exposed to the virus will be important as the state examines which of its regions will be able to start lifting stay-at-home restrictions after May 15.

“Some of the regions upstate have a problem that’s comparable with parts of the Midwest,” Cuomo said. “Much less than New York City.”

Still, large-scale events such as the New York State Fair could be put on hold.

“Could you open the State Fair unless the entire state is open? I don’t think so,” Cuomo said.

The governor in an earlier interview said he wishes he had “blown the bugle” about coronavirus earlier.

The governor was in Syracuse to thank hospital workers at SUNY Upstate Medical University for their work and praised the efforts of those on the front lines including cops, firefighters and transit workers.

“They didn’t show up because their employer said, ‘I need you to show up,’” he said. “They showed up out of their values, and out of their honor, and out of their dignity.”


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