New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that the state's stay-at-home order has been extended until June 13 unless regions meet certain conditions, while allowing five regions -- Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley -- to re-open under Phase one Friday as they met public health and safety metrics.

The executive order, issued on Thursday night, said the state would continue to be on "PAUSE" policy that was introduced in March amid the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak. The state-wide restriction was supposed to expire on May 15.

Governor Cuomo said the five re-opened regions can move on to the Phase one of reopening but said "the others can be UN-PAUSED the moment they hit their benchmarks."

The executive order

The order states that "both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York state and are expected to continue."

In addition, Cuomo said all the enforcement mechanism by state or local governments shall continue to be in full force and effect until June 13 unless extended or amended by further executive order.

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo Wikimedia Commons

However, it should be noted that as of Thursday, New York, which has been the state hard hit by the pandemic, had confirmed the over 343,000 cases and more than 27,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

To reopen, regions must showcase the following factors

  • As per CDC guidelines, a region has to have at least 14 days of decline in total hospitalizations and deaths on a three-day rolling average
  • Regions with few Coronavirus cases cannot have 15 new cases or five deaths on a three day rolling average
  • A region must have fewer than two new COVID-19 patients per 100,000 residents per day
  • Hospitals can not be filled to more than 70 percent capacity, including ICU beds, leaving 30 percent available
  • All hospitals must have a 90-day stockpile of PPE
  • 30 tests per 1,000 residents should be ready
  • Regions must have 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, with additional tracers available based on the projected number of COVID-19 cases in the region
  • An analysis of which businesses can reopen, with most essential businesses with the lowest risk being prioritized
  • Businesses must adjust their practices to ensure a safe work environment and track cases
  • There will be a regional "control room" to monitor progress