“Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie and other Mohawk Valley counties will be allowed — slowly and deliberately — to start reopening their economies on Friday.
Nearly two months after he ordered the shutdown of much of the state’s business community to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions have met all seven of the criteria he imposed for restarting. The Capital Region falls short on two of the seven metrics imposed by Cuomo and will remain closed until it meets them.
The governor has described the process for deciding what reopens as based on facts and science, and free of emotion and opinion. The process is essentially that: When a region meets seven criteria, it can allow reopening of the most essential businesses that create the least risk of disease transmission in phase one, then gradually open less essential businesses/higher risk in phases two through four.
The seven criteria that a region must meet to reopen are:
A 14-day decline in net COVID hospitalizations or fewer than 15 new hospitalizations per day on a three-day average;
A 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths per day on a three day average;
Fewer than two new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents per day;
At least 30% of hospital beds must be vacant;
At least 30% of ICU beds must be vacant;
At least 30 out of each 1,000 residents must be tested each month;
At least 30 infection contract tracers must be hired per 100,000 residents.
When a region meets all the metrics, the nonessential businesses that had been closed there can reopen in phases.
Phase 1: Construction, manufacturing, retail with curbside pickup, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting.
Phase 2: Professional services, retail, administrative support, real estate/rental and leasing.
Phase 3: Restaurants and food services
Phase 4: Arts, entertainment, recreation and entertainment.
To reopen, businesses and industries must have a plan in place to project employees and consumers, make the work space safe, and take steps to reduce infection risks.”
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Cropley, John. Schenectady Gazette 11 May 2020.