Cuomo, from his executive office, confirmed Phase 2 will start in the city on Monday, June 22.READ MORE: New Jersey Artist Said Elatab Burns Paintings To Fight Depression, Express Grief; 'I Call Myself Tragedy Of Art'
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“The state experts have gone over all the data and they will allow New York City to begin Phase 2,” said Cuomo.
That means restaurants, armed with outdoor eating plans, hair salons and barbershops can get back to business.
The governor remained cautious about monitoring local infection rates and watching out for infections from other states, while urging people to continue to wear a mask.
He said while hospitalizations and weekly infection rates remain at the lowest levels of the pandemic, social distancing and other precautions should continue in order to prevent a second wave of COVID-19.
Cuomo’s update on Friday, unlike his previous briefings, was not a press conference – he spoke alone at his desk without a slideshow presentation.
It was an address to the state, highlighting New York’s successful turnaround from one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world.
“When this started, we had more cases per capita than any state in the country, or any nation on the globe,” said Cuomo. “Today, we have done a full 180, from worst to first. We are controlling the virus better than any state in the county and any nation on the globe.”READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Accuses Gov. Cuomo And MTA Of 'Fear Mongering,' Insists Subways Are Safe
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Cuomo spoke for less than 10 minutes, making a plea to the rest of the country to reopen intelligently.
After the address, the governor’s office played a video montage set to music with audio clips from past briefings.
“In 12 minutes he delivered, what I thought, was a pitch perfect ending,” said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.
Levy told CBS2’s Alice Gainer many people planned their days around those briefings, including some who watched from other states.
“The way I know this is so impactful is not from polls, but in talking to my neighbors, the sort of moderate suburban swing voters who aren’t all that tied to politics,” said Levy. “They have just been gaga over Cuomo’s briefings…his delivery, both style and substance, make a mark in such a way I wouldn’t have believed possible.”MORE NEWS: COVID Restrictions: New York City Restaurants Can Increase Capacity, New Jersey Raises Gathering Limits
Performance aside, there has been strong criticism over the governor’s handling of nursing homes and mixed messaging between his office and Mayor Bill de Blasio during the pandemic.