On Thursday, not long after the mayor said the city is on track to enter the next phase on Monday, the governor confirmed as much. He said the state will make an official decision on Friday and monitor the coronavirus pandemic infection data over the weekend.
On Wednesday, de Blasio took a more cautious approach than Cuomo, who seemed a lot more confident about New York City’s next-step prospects. That prompted many city residents to tell CBS2 they wanted immediate clarity.
Cuomo, during his daily media briefing on Thursday, did just that.
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“It is a controlled opening of the economy. It controls how many people are introduced into the city, into public transportation, onto the sidewalks, etc. As that number is increasing, local governments can then get their act together and deal with the increase that’s part of the phasing,” Cuomo said. “But there are rules. It’s not ‘We’ve reopened. Hallelujah!’ No, no. That’s what other states did, and that’s a mistake. We reopen in phases and a phase has rules.”
He said the following businesses are on track to reopen Monday morning:
- All office-based jobs: professional services, administrative support, and information technology.
- Real estate services: building and property management, and leasing, rental and sales services.
- Retail and outdoor dining: in-store shopping, outdoor dining, and rental, repair and cleaning services.
- Barbershops and hair salons (limited services), and motor vehicle leasing, rental and sales.
The governor emphasized that all of those businesses must follow strict social distancing protocols.
“People need to know the rules and they have to follow the rules. They are on the website, but they’re specific for specific businesses. There’s occupancy rules. There are barrier rules,” Cuomo said, adding the sharing of food and beverages is not permitted.
Cuomo also announced that he is signing two executive orders that increase state enforcement capacity.
The first one involves violations of reopening rules and guidelines that he said can now result in immediate loss of liquor licenses and a shut-down order for businesses that do not comply. He was making an obvious reference to instances last weekend, when there appeared to be numerous “block parties” outside establishments across the city.
The second order gives bars responsibility for the areas immediately outside of their locations, including sidewalks.
Both orders will be enforced for the State Liquor Authority.
Latest Coronavirus Infection Data
Cuomo said there were 68,000 tests conducted across the state on Wednesday. Of those, only 0.90% came back positive. That’s the highest number of single-day tests and the lowest percentage of infection since the pandemic started in mid-March.
He said New York City’s infection rate on Wednesday was just 1%. In fact, he said the only region that the state is really keeping an eye on is Central New York, due to a recent outbreak at an apple plant in Oswego County.
The governor said the state is issuing guidance to colleges and universities to allow some residential and face-to-face programming for the fall semester. He said campuses must develop a plan that attests to meeting the guidance and file plans with the state.
“We still need more data between now and September to make a definitive determination, but we want to make sure we are starting to prepare,” Cuomo said.
Specifically, the governor said the schools must present plans for reopening, monitoring, containment and shutdown.