NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hospitals in two new counties in downstate New York State will resume performing electric surgeries as the state moves to find a way to reopen businesses during the coronavirus outbreak shutdown.

In addition, horse racetracks and Watkins Glen International auto racetrack will reopen without fans in the stands starting on June 1.

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“We’re going to open Westchester and Suffolk counties for elective surgeries and ambulatory care,” announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his Saturday morning COVID-19 briefing. “There was a period where hospitals we’re dealing basically with the COVID patients. We are past that period, so if you need medical attention, if you need a medical procedure, you should get it right.”

New York State has been allowing elective surgeries to resume in some upstate counties since April 21, adding new locations as areas met Cuomo’s safety guidelines.

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On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced elective surgeries will resume in his state the day after Memorial Day, just as the Garden State hit a grim new coronavirus milestone of 10,000 deaths since the outbreak began.


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In terms of other sports venues, Cuomo was still cautious about Yankees and Mets games compared to reopening the race tracks without gathering fans in the stands.

“When you look at the risk-reward, there’s a lot of reward for minimal risk,” said Cuomo. “We don’t control baseball. I’ve spoken to baseball organizations, one state can’t make that decision, but if it works economically, that’d be great. We do control the racetracks.

The Watkins Glen track decision will mainly only affect the NASCAR race scheduled for August.

In terms of horse racetracks, the state has yet to set specific guidelines for staff safe

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New York horse racing tracks to reopen will include Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, and Yonkers Raceway as well as the Saratoga Raceway, Saratoga Race Course, Monticello Raceway, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway and the Finger Lakes Racetrack.