“We just have to stay smart,” the governor said.
The governor said the mid-Hudson region was poised to begin reopening Tuesday, and Long Island is on track for Wednesday.
“We have to get the number of deaths down on Long Island, and we have to get the number of tracers up. But we’re doing that,” Cuomo said. “We’re preparing for Long Island to open. We’re getting the transportation system ready.”
There will be daily disinfecting of trains and buses, and masks will be required on mass transit. More cars will be added to trains so people can socially distance.
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Across the state, families have mixed feelings, particularly in the Westchester County city of New Rochelle. It experienced one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks, which prompted a lockdown and the deployment of the National Guard.
Some residents think it’s too early to resume business.
“I definitely don’t know being this close to New York City if we are ready,” Rachael Czerwinski told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
“I think they should have waited a little bit longer,” Nancy Zychowicz added.
Businesses allowed to reopen under Phase 1 include: manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and wholesale trade. Retail is also allowed but limited to curbside or in-store pickup.
For those unemployed and struggling financially, the announcement brings hope.
“Many people are not working right now, so they need the money,” Hugo Moreno said.
“I think if people still continue to follow the guidelines and still stay safe we should be okay,” Lance Officer said.
“After three months, it’s more than enough time,” Evonza Smith-Kilgore added.
Cuomo also urged sports teams to start their training camps.
“I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena, do it. Do it. Work out the economics if you can. We want you up. We want people to be able to watch sports. To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do. It’s a return to normalcy. So, we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible and we’ll work with them to make sure that can happen,” the governor said.
He also announced veterinarians can resume as of Tuesday.
“That’s a service that is necessary and has been necessary for a period of time,” he said.
The governor turned his attention to the economics of reopening.
“I don’t believe that this economy just bounces back,” Cuomo said. “Too many small businesses are closed. You’ll see many of these corporation will use this as an opportunity to lay off workers, I believe that.”
Cuomo said the economy will need to be stimulated, and the government has a role to play in that. He says “now’s the time” for massive infrastructure spending on new airports, mass transit, bridges, a new telemedicine system and so on.
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Cuomo pointed to Jones Beach as an example, saying it was built out of seven miles of fill in three years.
“Let’s get that ambition back,” Cuomo said.
On testing, the governor said the state is prioritizing symptomatic people first, but still wants people to get a test if they can. He says the data is helpful in terms of tracing where the infections are coming from.
“We have extra capacity,” Cuomo said. “We can do 15,000 tests a day, we’re only doing 5,000 tests a day.”