N.Y. Reopens the Right Way, Cuomo Says, While Others See Spikes

(Bloomberg) -- New York is seeing continued recovery from the coronavirus even as it reopens its economy, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“We’ve had the most science-based, most informed reopening, I think it’s fair to say, in the country,” the governor said at his daily virus briefing Thursday. “It’s nothing about intuition, nothing about politics, look at the numbers, follow the numbers, and we have more numbers.”

Across the U.S., a fresh onslaught of the novel coronavirus is bringing challenges for residents and the economy. Localized surges are alarming experts even as the nation’s overall case count early this week rose just under 1%, the smallest increase since March. The disease is surging in Texas, Arizona and California, among other places.

But in New York’s 10 regions, daily test results on Wednesday ranged from 0.3% positivity in North Country to 1.7% in New York City, according to Cuomo’s s briefing slides.

N.Y. Reopens the Right Way, Cuomo Says, While Others See Spikes

Cuomo said the state isn’t watching the hospitalization rate as closely as testing because it lags about two weeks behind the infection rate.

“If you’re getting your information from the hospitalization rate, you’re closing the barn door after the horse is gone,” he said.

The number of positive cases in the state topped 380,000 as of Wednesday, with 24,442 virus-related fatalities. There were 36 virus-related deaths. Cuomo noted that the number of deaths per day is so low that the data no longer provide much insight on the state’s effort to combat the virus.

Five regions -- Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Central New York, North Country, and Southern Tier -- will enter the third of four reopening phases on Friday, Cuomo said. Restaurants will be allowed to have indoor as well as outdoor dining at 50% capacity, and nail salons and other personal care services will be allowed to reopen. Businesses that reopen are expected to follow social distancing and sanitizing rules, and employees must wear personal protective equipment.

In addition, New York is allowing localities to open public pools and playgrounds.

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