New York will start allowing low-risk businesses to reopen and permit recreational activities like tennis on May 15, Cuomo says

A view of a woman wearing a mask in New York City.

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A view of a woman wearing a mask in New York City.
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John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 5/9/20
  • New York state will soon let low-risk businesses reopen and allow outdoor activities such as drive-in movie theaters and tennis, Gov. Cuomo said on Monday.
  • Three regions in New York state have met the seven metrics needed to reopen he said.
  • New York recorded the lowest daily death toll related to coronavirus since March 26.
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New York will let certain low-risk businesses and activities reopen on Friday as the state’s efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus pay off, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

These businesses and activities include landscaping and gardening, outdoor activities such as tennis, and drive-in movie theaters, Cuomo said in his daily coronavirus update from Rochester in upstate New York.

On top of that, Cuomo said three regions in New York State-the Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier- have met all seven metrics needed to start reopening, and will do so on Friday.

Those metrics include a 14-day decline in hospitalizations, having enough hospital beds and ICU capacity, and a bevy of diagnostic and antibody testing and contact tracing for residents.

In Phase I of reopening, construction and manufacturing businesses will be able to reopen, and retail stores will be able to offer curbside pickup.

In Phase II, retail stores and finance and professional services will open, albeit with restrictions. Each phase, through Phase IV, where music venues and art museums can reopen with limited capacity, should take about two weeks, Cuomo has previously said – if the infection rate stays low.

However, advancing to new phases will be determined “by the facts and by the numbers as we move along,” Cuomo said.

Other parts of the state, including New York City, Long Island, and the capital region, have not yet met the seven metrics necessary for reopening.

“We start a new chapter today in many ways,” Cuomo said. “It’s a new phase, if you will.”

New York’s nonessential businesses have been closed since March 22, as part of the “NY Pause” program issued by Cuomo. The first case of coronavirus in the state was recorded on March 1.

Despite the promising signs of reopening, Cuomo said each region will have a control room staffed by top political and health officials that will be able to pull a “circuit breaker” if the infection rates begin to increase.

Here are the other key takeaways from Cuomo’s Monday update:

  • Total hospitalizations, intubations, and new infections are all trending down, Cuomo said.
  • New York recorded 161 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, the lowest daily death toll since March 26.
  • The number of new hospitalizations is at its lowest since March 19, Cuomo said.
  • “We’re right where we were before we went into the abyss,” Cuomo said.