New York State Prepares Regional Reopening Plan

In the seventh week of closing in the New York State, the area hardest hit by Covid-19 in U.S because it concentrates 333,491 positive cases and 25,956 deaths of the total nationwide -which amounts to more than 1.26 million infections and 74,804 dead, the governor, Andrew Cuomo, presented a plan to restart the economy from May 15. Based on the fulfillment of “seven specific criteria”, the 10 regions of the state will be able to lift the restrictions, although so far none has achieved more than five of the requirements.

“This is not a sustainable situation. Shut everything down, shut down the economy, lock yourself in the home. You can do it for a short period of time, but you can’t do it forever ”, Cuomo said, after pointing out that the reopening is due to the economic blows of the pandemic for the state, which it has spent almost US $ 3 billion on the health emergency.

After the confinement decree expires on May 15, the Democratic governor seeks to return to the “normal” gradually under a “Complex formula that will determine which parts of the state are eligible to reopen.”

The guidelines for reopening have “Influence” of the White House and Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Among the requirements is: have at least one 30% of hospital beds available; a weekly average of 30 coronavirus tests per thousand inhabitants; a continuous 14-day decline in virus hospitalization and death rates.

Once a region is compliant, it will need to submit a working document to determine how people will return to work, including: the measures of the companies to ensure social distancing and use of masks. After this the first phase, which allows resumption of the construction sectors, factories and some retail stores with pick-up on the sidewalk on May 15.

Since then, the state authorities “They will evaluate for two weeks” the effects of the ordinance on the population. If the virus indicators remain positive, it would lead to the second level, which will allow the activation of “Professional services, more retail stores and finance, among others.”

Later, it would be the turn of the opening of restaurants, bars, hotels and other accommodation, which will start the fourth and final phase, which will allow the operation of “Cinemas, theaters, including Broadway” and education, although all schools would remain closed.

For the moment, there is no return date to parks, beaches and attractions. In the event that a region registers an increase in the rates of infection or deaths from coronavirus, it will return to a quarantine.

However, due to the diversity of the population and contagion in urban areas compared to rural areas, it is that the first to emerge from “economic confinement” would be the North Zone of the state of New York, that does not register high rates of cases and accuses a different treatment.

According to Politico, the northern regions have a growing concern to return to their jobs since they do not have the same reality as cities like New York. In this framework, the Lewis County has 21 people per “square mile” compared to nearly 50,000 in Manhattan, so social distancing is not a “challenge.”

Thus, Cuomo suggested that New York City and its suburbs could be the last to lift sanitation measures.

Despite the fact that New York State has already passed the peak of infections and hospitalizations are falling, one of the biggest concerns is that the lifting of restrictions generates a regrowth. Given this, last week the President of the United States, Donald Trump, authorized to send more supplies to increase the testing capacity that is still far from complying with the 40 thousand daily tests that the experts recommended to reopen.

Just like the successful coronavirus patient contact tracing plans in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand, New York announced last week that it is putting together a test and trace program that will need between 6,400 and 17,000 “contact trackers.”

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