NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said now is the time to fast-track construction at LaGuardia Airport, which will be the country’s first newly transformed, major airport since Denver International opened in 1995.

The governor said construction projects across the state should benefit now that every region is reopening. The number of people traveling is likely to stay low, reducing disruptions.

READ MORE: Lionel Virgile Accused Of Throwing Bleach In Officer's Face, Tossing Lit Molotov Cocktail At Other Officers In Brooklyn

“There’s less traffic at the airport, that’s a problem on one level,” said Cuomo. “On another level it’s an advantage. There’s less traffic. There’s fewer cars.”

The governor said phased reopening is an opportunity to “energize” the economy.

“Take these large scale developments and accelerate them,” said Cuomo, referring to the Islanders’ $2.7 billion arena under construction at Belmont Park and the MTA’s $2 billion capital projects.

“You can take trains out of service and you can disrupt fewer riders,” said Cuomo. “Fix the tracks now, fix the tunnels now, fix the platforms now.”


As phased reopening continues, Cuomo said employers must take on responsibility for their workers’ safety and containing the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Producer Scott Rudin Will 'Step Back' From Broadway Duties After Allegations Of Abusive Behavior

“All of us have a role to play,” said Cuomo. “My role has been to inform people, to educate people, to motivate people about what can be done and should be done and what are the consequences.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Now in reopening, we have to actually double down on our diligence. Business owners, employers that are reopening…provide the right equipment, have employees socially distance,” said the governor. “Store owners have responsibility, employees themselves have responsibility…and the local governments have a responsibility to make sure their department of health is out and making sure things are working well.”

The governor said the state will continue to monitor COVID-19 test results daily. He said cases are increasing in more than a dozen states that have reopened, including California, Florida and Texas, so far.

The governor said it’s “common sense,” that as more people go out in public, more are likely to come down with coronavirus. He said it’s especially important to take a careful approach in dense places like New York City.

MORE NEWS: Man Arrested After Allegedly Using Anti-Asian Slurs, Harassing Undercover Officer In Queens

Cuomo said, “It has to be done right and we have to stay disciplined, and the evidence is all around us, what happens if we’re not.”