NYC, Long Island Lockdowns Extended by at Least Two Weeks: Cuomo

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  • New York City, Long Island and Western New York will remain closed for the foreseeable future after failing to meet the requirements to begin restarting their economies Friday.

    Five of 10 regions of the state are slated for a phased reopening when Governor Andrew Cuomo’s stay-at-home order expires: Central New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, North Country and Mohawk Valley. Those regions must keep hospitalizations and new cases down in order to remain open.

    Certain construction and manufacturing businesses can open tomorrow, and some retail stores can begin curbside and in-store pickup. The businesses that choose to reopen must follow certain guidelines, including having workers 6 feet apart and using personal protective equipment, Cuomo said.

    “And then we watch the numbers tomorrow and we see with that increase of activity, how did people behave and what was the effect on the infection rate, and then we go day-to-day,” Cuomo said.

    New York, Long Island and Western New York have met just four of the state’s seven metrics, according to the state’s regional monitoring dashboard. The Capital and Mid-Hudson regions met five. The metrics, based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include certain requirements for hospital-bed capacity, testing and tracing.

    Statewide, hospitalizations continued to drop, Cuomo said. Positive cases reached 343,051, with 2,390 new cases as of May 13, an increase of less than 1%. Fatalities in the state reached 22,170, with 157 new virus-related deaths, a fourth day the number was below 200.

    Cuomo, during his briefing, said he spoke with President Donald Trump earlier in the day about state funding issues. The president has agreed to expedite a payment to the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s subway and buses, the governor said.

    The MTA “desperately needs funding because the ridership is way down, and the president cut the red tape and actually sent the first installment today, so I‘m grateful for that,” Cuomo said.

    MTA was awarded nearly $4 billion in the initial federal-relief package and has asked for an additional $3.9 billion amid a 93% drop in ridership on its subways. The financial impact of the virus may reach $8.5 billion, and ridership may not return to pre-pandemic levels this year, according to the MTA.

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