What you should know
New York City joined the rest of the tri-state area to reopen its beaches on Friday; They are still closed to swimming and social distancing will be strictly enforced. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Friday that he would increase the limit for outdoor groups from 10 to 25 people. The Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions could reopen next week, leaving only NYC closed. New York state accounts for about a quarter of the national death toll, which is rapidly approaching 100,000. The tri-state area has confirmed almost 40,000 COVID deaths and more than 550,000 total cases.
NEW YORK – As more of the tri-state area reopens its businesses on a restricted basis, New York City remains closed, affected by the density that makes it one of the most vibrant places in the world. So are Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region, but Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that they are on track to open next week. Both can begin the staging of construction in anticipation of Phase I.
New York City, which has met four of Cuomo’s seven criteria for reopening so far, may not be far from them. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a new indicator threshold system that the city will use to chart its progress toward reopening in the future.
It is based on the same three key metrics: new daily hospital admissions, the current number of ICU patients, and the percentage of people who test positive, which the Mayor has tracked and shared in his daily briefings, but assesses progress. differently.
Rather than seek 10 or 14 consecutive days of decline, de Blasio says the city has established a single “indicator threshold” for each of the three metrics.
For new hospital admissions, it is just below 200. For the number of intensive care, it is around 375. The threshold for the percentage of people who test positive is 15 percent. As long as the city line remains below the respective thresholds, it will continue to reopen next month. As of Friday, the city was well below the new daily hospitalization threshold and just below the positive tests. The number of people in intensive care is still too high, even for the new system.
“It’s about reality on the ground. The indicators are numbers, they actually reflect what you’re doing,” said de Blasio. New York City has come a long way in the past two months. Moving forward now is less about small daily variations in numbers, he said. It is about maintaining positive trends.
In an effort to help reach the proper levels to reopen, the city launched a new ad campaign hoping to remind people not to be left out or to stay out for a long time if not necessary: go out for a while, not hang out.
Both the mayor and the governor’s office have said New York City is currently on track to reopen in the first or second week of June.
“There are no changes to the criteria. It does not depend on local officials, it is a state decision in all areas,” Cuomo said.
Long Island has struggled on the mortality rate metric despite making significant progress in that regard. At the peak of the crisis, Long Island was losing around 100 people a day due to COVID. It is now averaging around 13 deaths per day, as the daily death toll in New York continues to decline across the board.
Companies in those areas are already gearing up, hoping they can rehire some of the lost workers during the shutdown and go back to business, but they know they have to do it safely and not let their guard down, or otherwise risk another wave of the virus. Westchester County has recorded nearly 33,000 cases of COVID-19, with nearly 1,500 deaths.
However, the daily death toll in New York has declined across the board. This week, the state has averaged about 107 confirmed virus deaths a day, a still staggering number but a grim improvement from a stretch close to 800 in April.
No state has lost more people to the virus than the Big Apple. New York City accounts for two-thirds of the confirmed COVID-19 deaths statewide, reaching 23,192 when Cuomo added 109 more names to the figure. The city reports another 4,771 probable deaths, bringing the number above 20,000. A recent CDC report suggests the actual total may be even higher.
New Jersey, which is in Stage 1 of what Governor Phil Murphy described as a three-phase reopening process, now reports more deaths per 100,000 residents than any other state. He has lost at least 10,985 people to COVID-19.
Citing continued progress in flattening the curve, Murphy relaxed additional restrictions on Friday. He raised the limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people, but noted that outdoor gatherings do not include outdoor dinners or graduations. Indoor meetings are limited to 10 people.
On Friday night, Governor Cuomo also issued an executive order that would allow any nonessential gatherings of 10 or fewer people, as long as social distancing and disinfection protocols were followed. His previous order only allowed meetings of that size for Memorial Day services, but a civil liberties group filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on other meetings, leading to the new orientation.
Murphy also increased capacity to 25 for shared and fishing boats, outdoor batting cages, driving ranges, and other outdoor recreational businesses. Recreational camps, public and private, can reopen immediately, the governor said.
Connecticut, which gave the green light for outdoor lunches as part of its first statewide reopening steps this week, has reported 3,637 deaths.
Nationally, the figure is fast approaching a grim 100,000 milestone, with NBC News reporting more than 95,000 virus deaths in the US as of Friday. A new virus screening model that cures data from 41 different model projects, the country could lose another 20,000 people in the next four weeks.