Jun 17, 2020
After more than 100 straight days of giving daily press briefings, this Friday, June 19th, will be the final one. Going forward, I will give press briefings as needed but rest assured I will continue to provide New Yorkers with the facts, data and my opinion as we continue to chart the way forward. We will send this newsletter on weeknights to share the latest information on reopening along with all other important COVID-19 updates.
Over the long course of this crisis, I counted on New Yorkers like you to listen to the facts and act accordingly. Together we have protected one another and ourselves. Through our collective action we not only bent the curve, we crushed it. I am so proud to be a New Yorker.
1. New York City is on track to enter Phase 2 of reopening on June 22. The Mid-Hudson Valley is on track to enter Phase 3 of reopening on June 23 and Long Island is on track to enter Phase 3 of reopening on June 24, based on current data. Business guidance for Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan is available here and guidance for Phase 3 is available here.
2. Today, I issued an Executive Order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees. Juneteenth marks the day that enslaved African Americans in Texas finally learned they had been freed, over two years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. In addition to this Executive Order, I will advance legislation to make this important day celebrating freedom an official state holiday next year.
3. The State Department of Health will allow midwife-led birthing centers in New York for the first time. This directive to diversify birthing site options and support patient choice was one of the six key recommendations of the COVID-19 Maternity Task Force launched in April.
4. The total number of COVID hospitalizations continues to hit record lows. Total hospitalizations fell to 1,479, from 1,538. Sadly, 17 people in New York passed away yesterday due to COVID-19, down from a heartbreaking day when we lost 800 New Yorkers nine weeks ago. Our thoughts are with all the families who have lost loved ones to this awful virus.
5. Yesterday, New York reached the lowest percentage of positive COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began. Out of the 59,341 tests conducted in New York State yesterday, only 567, or less than one percent, were positive.
6. I signed new laws that will that will help promote accountability and improve transparency in law enforcement. Yesterday, I signed legislation requiring all New York State Police officers to wear body cameras while on patrol; and creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Yesterday, the LEAF Festival of Flowers and Lewis Miller Design teamed up to celebrate New York City's reopening through a collection of flower installations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The centerpiece installation was an "I Heart NY" made of flowers in the Meatpacking District.