5 regions partially reopen, the rest paused until May 28, governor says

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Friday coronavirus update

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Half of New York’s regions are ready to partially reopen their economies.

All five are upstate: North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Central New York.

At his coronavirus briefing Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his “pause” orders are extended to the other five until May 28, although any region that meets the criteria before that can start to reopen.

For the five that meet the requirements, only select industries and businesses can open Friday and those that do must maintain distance guidelines.

Employers have to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for their employees.

Customers must also wear masks, whether they’re picking up products curbside or inside the store and people should wear masks whenever they cannot maintain the proscribed six feet from anyone else, whether inside a business or not.

Able to open Friday are businesses related to construction, agriculture, forestry, and fishing, and select retail stores that can offer delivery, curbside pickup, or in-store pickup if the other two options are unavailable.

Local governments, the governor said, are responsible for enforcing the guidelines. They are also responsible for keeping a close eye on hospitalization and infections rates.

The governor says it’s expected those rates will go up.

“We expect to see an increase,” he said, “but that increase must be monitored and controlled.”

The governor also announced that four states are coordinating together to open their beaches for Memorial Day weekend.

State beaches in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware will open Friday, May 22.

Local beaches can also open, but they first have to submit a plan to the state by May 20.

All beaches must restrict access to 50 percent of their capacity, close concession stands, close any place people might congregate, and prohibit any contact activity, such as volleyball or football.

All employees must wear masks and people going to a beach must have a mask, which they have to wear if they’re no maintaining social distancing.

The governor said the number of hospitalizations and intubations are down statewide, but the number of new cases is up “a tick.”

Cuomo said the numbers tend to move around.

The number of deaths is down -- 132 people died from COVID-19 on Thursday.

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