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Watch: Cuomo outlines additional guidelines for phased plan to reopen New York

Press Release

Wed, Apr 29th 2020 11:30 am

Announces creation of ‘New York Forward’ reopening advisory board

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday outlined additional guidelines for the phased plan to reopen New York on a regional basis. Each region of the state – Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Long Island, Southern Tier and Western New York – must follow these guidelines as part of the reopening plan.


CDC Guidelines: Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate, it may begin a phased reopening.

Industries: Businesses in each region will reopen in phases. 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. Regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.

Business Precautions: Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.

Building Health Care Capacity: To maintain the phased reopening plan, each region must have at least 30% of hospital beds and ICU beds available after elective surgeries resume.

Testing Regimen: Regions must implement a testing regimen that prioritizes symptomatic persons and individuals who came into contact with a known COVID-positive person, and conducts frequent tests of frontline and essential workers. Regions must maintain an appropriate number of testing sites to accommodate its population and must fully advertise where and how people can get tested. The region must also use the collected data to track and trace the spread of the virus.

Tracing System: There must be at least 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people. The region must also monitor the regional infection rate throughout the reopening plan.

Isolation Facilities: Regions must present plans to have rooms available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who cannot self-isolate.

Regional Coordination: Regions must coordinate the reopening of schools, transportation systems, testing and tracing with other surrounding regions.

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Regional Control Rooms: Each region must appoint an oversight institution as its control room to monitor regional indicators during the phased reopening, including hospital capacity, rate of infection, PPE burn rate and businesses.

Protect and Respect Essential Workers: Regions must continue to ensure protections are in place for essential workers.

Cuomo also announced the creation of the “New York Forward” reopening advisory board to help guide the state's reopening strategy. The advisory board will be chaired by former secretaries to the governor Steve Cohen and Bill Mulrow and includes over 100 business, community and civic leaders from industries across the state. A list of the members of the advisory board is available here.

"We've come up with a phased plan to reopen New York so every region in the state has the same opening template as we begin this process," Cuomo said. "We have to be smart about this – emotions can't drive our reopening process – and we've come up with factual data points that each region must monitor as they begin to reopen. We've also created a ‘New York Forward’ reopening advisory board made up of business, academic, community and civic leaders from across the state to help guide this process and ensure businesses are following the necessary guidelines to preserve public health as we work towards a ‘new normal.’ "

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