New York starts easing stay-at-home requirements

The governor is ready to lift operating restrictions on businesses in some counties, but NYC businesses will likely have to wait

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

As the coronavirus continues to ravage certain parts of the U.S., its epicenter, New York, has announced a phased reopening that will allow certain counties to open for business.

READ MORE: More than 80 percent of COVID-19 patients in Georgia were Black

According to The New York Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the counties have met the seven statistical metrics that would allow for reopening. Those metrics include the ability to test and do contact tracing, enough hospital capacity to ensure care for those impacted, and a decline in cases and fatalities.

In the reopening plan, businesses considered low risk in smaller counties can begin reopening but bars, restaurants, schools, movies, and Broadway theaters would be the last to reopen under the plan.

The stay-at-home order is in place in the entire state through May 15. Cuomo said he does not expect to lift New York City’s order until June as the city has yet to meet all of the requirements to reopen. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio agreed.

“We’re clearly not ready yet. Unless something miraculous happens, we’re going into June,” de Blasio said at a media briefing Monday. “June is when we’re potentially going to be able to make some real changes, if we can continue our progress.”

There is good news – fatality rates in New York City fell below 200 for the first time since March 27th. However, in a worrying trend, although the coronavirus has hit the elderly community hard, cases of a mysterious flu-like illness in children have more than doubled since they were identified last week in a New York health bulletin.

Three children have died in what is believed to be a coronavirus related illness called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome reports the Times. Two of the children were elementary age, but one was a teenager, reports say.

The regions that will be allowed to open are the Southern Tier on the border of Pennsylvania, the Finger Lakes which includes Rochester, and Mohawk Valley.

READ MORE: Vice President Mike Pence’s aide tests positive for coronavirus

Cuomo praised the people of New York City for their resilience in a time of crisis.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!