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NYS Coronavirus Update: Four Factors for Regional Reopening -- Phased Approach to Opening Businesses -- Special Enrollment Period for Health Plans Extended

May 4, 2020

From Governor Cuomo @ 7:42 PM on May 4:

As we begin to reopen, we will approach the process on a regional basis. New York State is made up of diverse regions and each region is now facing a different set of circumstances. To guide the decision as to timing, we will look to four core factors: the number of new infections, health care capacity, diagnostic testing and contact tracing. As areas reopen we will continually monitor these factors throughout the days and weeks and rely on them to prevent a second wave of the virus. The path forward is reliant on the data, metrics and personal accountability. Reopening our state is far more complicated than shutting down was; if you open too quickly you can immediately have a backlash, as other countries have seen. We must be smart.

Fire engines in Times Square.
Photo of the Day: Today is International Firefighters Day — thank you to all of our firefighters for their dedicated service
(Photo by Jon Bush, Engine 54)

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. Businesses and industries will open in a phased approach. Phase 1 includes construction, manufacturing and select retail (with curbside pickup). Phase 2 includes professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support and real estate/rental leasing. Phase 3 includes restaurants, food services and hotels. And Phase 4 includes arts, entertainment, recreation and education.

2. Upon reopening, businesses must implement new safety precautions to help lower the risk of spreading the virus. These include strict cleaning and sanitation standards, restricting nonessential travel, adapting the workplace to allow for social distancing, and requiring masks to be worn if employees are in frequent contact with the public. Read all the requirements here.

3. The special enrollment period for health insurance will remain open through June 15, 2020. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for a plan through NY State of Health.

4. New York continues to lead the country in testing. To date, more than one million New Yorkers have been tested for COVID-19. That's more than any other state (or foreign country). We are working tirelessly to increase testing capacity even more.

5. The number of total hospitalizations continues to fall. Yesterday, total hospitalizations fell to 9,647 from 9,786 the day before. How quickly we bring this number down depends on all of our actions, which is why we must remain vigilant and continue taking precautions to protect ourselves and others.

6. Thank you to New York's National Guard for their efforts to increase the state's testing capacity. The National Guard has made nearly 300,000 testing kits to collect samples, 60,000 of which are being sent this week to labs and hospitals across the state.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: The iconic sounds of a busy New York City have mostly dissipated. To help bring New Yorkers together, the New York Public Library has released a "Missing Sounds of New York" album to reconnect with the familiar city sounds.

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Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo