April 26, 2020 | 2:00pm | Updated April 26, 2020 | 2:02pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday sketched a rough road map for New York’s coronavirus comeback — which could see some state businesses open by mid-May.
“With certain precautions, after May 15” construction projects and manufacturing jobs may be able to resume in certain regions, said Cuomo during an Albany press briefing, referring to the date through which his statewide shutdown order is currently in effect.
State officials are keeping an eye on “three basic dials” to determine exactly how much of the state’s economy to bring back online — and when to do it, Cuomo said.
If some of the state’s less-densely populated regions record 14 consecutive days of declining hospitalization numbers heading into May 15 — as advised by the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention — they may see a measured return to normalcy.
“Phase one of reopening will involve construction and manufacturing activities, and within construction and manufacturing, those businesses that have a low risk,” said Cuomo.
The state would then take two weeks to monitor for any flare-ups of the disease, before potentially moving on to the next step, Cuomo said.
“Phase two would then be more a business-by-business analysis,” said the governor.
That calculus would include looks at “how essential a service does that business provide, and how risky is that business,” said Cuomo.
Individual businesses cleared for reopening would have to thoughtfully consider what precautions they can take towards preventing a coronavirus resurgence.
“They have to think about how they’re going to reopen with this quote-unquote new normal,” he said. “What precautions are they going to take in the workplace, what safeguards are they going to put in place.”
Cuomo stressed that hard-hit New York City and its suburbs will likely lag behind in the process.
“Downstate New York is going to be more complicated,” he said. “You can’t do anything in New York City that you don’t do in Suffolk, you don’t do in Nassau, you don’t do in Westchester.”
The key to a smooth and safe transition back into working life remains the dedication of New Yorkers to proper social-distancing and other precautions.
“The big factor here is what people do,” he said. “It depends on what people do, how smart, how disciplined they are through this whole process.”