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New York Sets Opening Date for Summer Day Camps; Western NY Enters Phase II

Another New York region has entered Phase II Tuesday, as the state slowly remains on track to reopening as it continues its fight against coronavirus

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What to Know

  • The Western New York region has officially kicked off Phase II, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily coronavirus briefing. Meanwhile, the Capital region is expected to move to Phase II Wednesday.
  • Summer day camps will reopen June 29, Cuomo announced Tuesday. However, the state has not decided yet on whether sleep-away camps will resume
  • The number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all time low (at 154) since the start of the pandemic, Cuomo said Tuesday

Another New York region has entered Phase II Tuesday, as the state slowly remains on track to reopening while continuing its fight against coronavirus.

The Western New York region has officially kicked off Phase II, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily coronavirus briefing.

Meanwhile, the Capital region is expected to move to Phase II Wednesday.

The loosening of some restrictions imposed on nonessential businesses by governors in the tri-state state to slow the coronavirus outbreak’s spread have taken effect as deaths and hospitalizations continue to decline.

On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations is at an all time low (at 154) since the start of the pandemic.

"Congratulations to the people of the state of New York," Cuomo said. "Look what you did. Look at the progress you've made."

While the state is far from the return to pre-pandemic times, small steps are being taken to safely ease lockdowns and avoid another deadly wave of outbreaks.

Nine of the state's 10 regions -- Central New York, Capital Region, Western New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson and Long Island -- have met Gov. Andrew Cuomo's criteria to start reopening and have done so. New York City stands alone as the sole region still under PAUSE guidelines.

New York City, the epicenter of the national crisis, remains on track to begin its reopening process on June 8.

As some regions move to Phase II, certain businesses can now open during this phase, although strict guidelines on capacity and social distancing apply. The businesses allowed to reopen under this phase are:

  • In-person retail operations
  • All business activities where the core function takes place within an office setting
  • Vehicle sales, leases, and rental activities statewide
  • Retail rental, repair, and cleaning activities
  • Commercial, non-residential building management activities
  • Hair salons and barbershops. This does not include nail salons, tattoo parlors, or any other non-haircutting-related personal care services or activities, like beard trimming, nose hair trimming, facials, manicures/pedicures, makeup application, threading, tweezing, or waxing.
  • Real estate activities
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is approaching a level where coronavirus fatalities are perhaps not eliminated but are very few.

With coronavirus deaths continuing to decline in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed hope that the state is approaching a level where fatalities are perhaps not eliminated but are very few.

There were 58 COVID-19 deaths in New York on Monday, Cuomo said during Tuesday -- one day after the lowest number of deaths was reported (54).

Cuomo said Monday the level of positivity is down, citing that the state conducted about 50,000 coronavirus tests Sunday, with less than 1,000 coming back as positive.

"That is the lowest number we have had since this began and when we began we were only doing 3,000 or 4,000 tests," Cuomo said Monday. "The progress is just phenomenal."

Monday also marked the first day that dentists statewide can reopen.

Another sign that the fight against coronavirus is moving in the right direction? Summer day camps will reopen June 29, Cuomo announced Tuesday. However, the state has not decided yet on whether sleep-away camps will resume.

Officials say more than 24,000 people in New York have been killed by the virus, but acknowledge the true count is likely higher. The state's figure doesn't include thousands of probable deaths that New York City officials attribute to the virus in the five boroughs. A recent CDC report finds thousands more "excess" deaths in the city between March and April that may be COVID-connected as well.

Region by Region Status

Source: New York State; Report as of May 18

New Jersey Sets Opening Dates for Outdoor Dining, Hair Salons and More in Stage 2

New Jersey is on track to enter Stage 2 of its coronavirus recovery plan in two weeks, reopening restricted outdoor dining and in-store retail with hair salons and more to open later in June, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

Outdoor dining, which Connecticut reopened more than a week ago, will be allowed in New Jersey as of June 15, the same day Murphy has said child care centers can reopen. In-person retail sales can also resume at that point, though each store has to maintain a strict 50 percent capacity in order to stay open.

Hair salons and barbershops are slated to reopen the following Monday, on June 22, Murphy said. Gyms and health clubs will likely reopen soon thereafter, though the governor said health officials were continuing to work on safety protocol guidance for those businesses. He had no specific date for fitness centers.

The June 15 move to Stage 2 will come exactly four weeks after Murphy unveiled a three-stage roadmap to reopening and recovery. New Jersey, which until recently led the nation on indicators like new COVID deaths and cases per 100,000 residents, has been in Stage 1, which allows curbside retail pickup and other socially distant activities like the ones permitted by New York's Phase I.

At the same time, New Jersey has made tremendous strides. On Monday, Murphy announced the Garden State was No. 1 in daily testing per capita.

"As we open, we know there is a greater chance for transmission of COVID19," the governor said. "There is no cure. There is no vaccine. There is no proven therapeutic. The only cure is responsibility. Safety will continue to be our number one priority."

Proven mitigation measures like social distancing and facial coverings will be part and parcel of the phased-in restart, Murphy said Monday. Businesses eligible to reopen in Stage 2 must adhere to Department of Health guidance.

"Just because the calendar says June 15 doesn’t mean that everyone should just go back to what they were doing pre-COVID," Murphy said. "Let’s use common sense for the common good. Only a successful Stage 2 can get us to Stage 3."

Stage 3 in New Jersey allows expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, bars with limited capacity and expanded personal care services, among other activities, with significant safeguards against viral resurgence.

New Jersey has been America's second most-impacted state in the pandemic next to New York. It has reported nearly 11,700 virus deaths to date.

On Tuesday, Murphy revealed the rate of contagion of the virus in the state -- saying that measures, including social distancing norms, taken throughout the past weeks has lowered the rate of contagion.

"When I issued my stay-at-home order on March 21, COVID-19 was at a nearly unstoppable pace of spread. Each infected person, whether they were symptomatic or asymptomatic, by the way, was spreading COVID-19 to an average of five other New Jerseyans," Murphy said.

"Within three weeks of our stay-at-home order being put in place and by the time when our hospitals were at their peak stress, we have cut the rate of spread to a rate to roughly one to one and today, thank God, that rate of spread is less than one to one and we need to keep it that way."

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