The Mayor of New York yesterday unveiled a new set of goals that will help determine when restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic are loosened. But his frequent political rival Governor Andrew Cuomo later said it is up to the state – not the municipality – to make those decisions.
“No local official can open or close,” Cuomo said, noting that the state has established its own set of parameters to measure reopening security.
“We said from the start that there was going to be a data-based standard. Not in politics. What is safe is safe, “said the governor.
The offices of both Democrats have been saying that the city, among the most plagued in the world by the virus, is on track to begin its reopening in the first half of June.
De Blasio said Friday that in order to enter the first phase of the reopening, including manufacturing and retail pickup with sidewalks, the city will have to be below the threshold for three things: the daily number of people hospitalized by suspicions of COVID-19, the total number of patients in intensive care in public hospitals and the percentage of people who test positive for the virus.
“If we do it right, if people stick to the plan, we will enter Phase 1 in the first or second week of June,” said the mayor.
De Blasio had previously said that the three parameters would have to be down simultaneously for between 10 and 14 days for the city to reopen.
“Daily changes, small ups and downs, matter less,” he said, explaining the new reopening criteria. “What matters most now is staying low and staying that way, in ways that we’re going to talk about thresholds now.”
The statewide Cuomo standards are based on measurements that include whether a region has had a general decline in the number of hospitalizations and the availability of hospital beds.