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Roadmap drawn for NY regions to start reopening

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Governor Cuomo said yesterday the statewide PAUSE order will expire as planned next Friday (May 15), allowing certain regions to begin phased re-openings under a strict set of conditions.

Four primary factors will determine when each may do so: Number of New Infections, Health Care Capacity, Diagnostic Testing Capacity and Contact Tracing Capacity.

New infections

In order to open, each region must have at least 14 days of declining hospitalizations and deaths, or under 15 total hospitalizations and deaths, both considered on a 3-day rolling average basis.

Additionally, fewer than two new COVID patients per 100,000 residents/day is required for reopening.

Health Care Capacity

Regions must have at least 30 percent of both regular hospital and ICU beds available, coupled with a new requirement that hospitals have at least 90 days of personal protective equipment stockpiled.

Testing capacity

Each area must be able to conduct at least 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents every month.

Contact tracing

A baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents is required, with additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region.

Central New York currently meets five of the governor’s seven requirements to reopen, lacking only the 30 monthly tests per 1k residents and assignment of 30 contact tracers per 100k.

Currently, no region of the state meets all seven requirements.

Each will now work to meet these goals in order to begin their phased re-openings, starting with construction and manufacturing jobs considered least risky and most essential to the public.

That would then progress in phases every two weeks, with the addition of businesses according to the same criteria, then later some of the lesser and nonessential businesses.

Nothing will be allowed to open that would “draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.”

Additionally, new safety precautions must be implemented at each business that does reopen in order to help lower the risk of spread, similar to what’s expected of schools before they can reopen as well:

  • Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace;
  • Enact social distancing protocols;
  • Restrict non-essential travel for employees;
  • Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others;
  • Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards;
  • Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace;
  • Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and Develop liability processes.zv

The number of positive cases in Cortland County remains at 32 to-date, with just one active patient who is hospitalized.

Six others are being monitored and 1,184 negative test results have been reported.

Altogether, those are still the lowest numbers in the region and much of New York State.

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