New York state regions, including the Big Apple, will need to meet a strict criteria in order to start a phased reopening and return to somewhat normalcy from the coronavirus crisis under orders by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The seven COVID-19-related benchmarks tied to New York state coronavirus statistics that the Empire State’s 10 regions need to hit to restart their economies after Cuomo’s statewide stay-at-home order expires on May 15 include:
- A 14-day drop in hospitalizations, or fewer than 15 new admissions in a three-day rolling average
- A 14-day decline in hospital deaths, or fewer than five total deaths across a three-day rolling average
- A rate of new hospitalizations below 2 per 100,000 residents, across a three-day rolling average
- At least 30 percent of total hospital beds unoccupied
- At least 30 percent of ICU hospital beds unoccupied
- At least 30 tests for every 1,000 residents per month
- At least 30 contact tracers retained per 100,000 residents
“It’s not a question of do we reopen. It’s a question of how we reopen. That’s really the question we have to grapple with,” Cuomo told reporters during his daily press briefing in Long Island Wednesday.
When the governor outlined the criteria on Monday during a press conference, no region in the state had hit more than five of the seven markers.
On Monday, New York City met just three of the benchmarks: the 14-day declines in both hospitalizations and deaths, plus the monthly testing numbers.
But, the Big Apple has since taken a step back in its battle against coronavirus as the latest city data shows suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations and the number of those in intensive care units have ticked up following a decline.
Patients in ICUs for suspected coronavirus across the city’s 11 public hospitals increased slightly from 596 on Sunday to 599 on Monday, while the number of people admitted to hospitals citywide also went up from 75 on Sunday to 109 on Monday, according to the latest city data, which has a two-day lag.
The percentage of people tested citywide who are positive for COVID-19, however, dropped from 22 percent Sunday to 15 percent on Monday after an uptick a day earlier, the data shows.
Meanwhile, the latest state data shows that overall coronavirus-related hospitalizations, patients in ICUs, and the number of those in ICUs who are intubated continue to trend downward.
There was a total of 601 new people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, down from 659 the day before, the data shows.
The rate of total hospitalizations for coronavirus has dropped by 421, bringing the total to 9,179, while total ICU admissions were on the decline by 183, putting the new total at 3,098, according to the state statistics.
The number of intubations was down by 108, bringing that total figure to 2,533.
Cuomo’s office did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday regarding where New York’s 10 regions — New York City, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Long Island, mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, the Southern Tier, Western New York and the Capital Region — stand when it comes to hitting the seven markers.