Finger Lakes falls short of reopening

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives an update Monday at the Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester. He described a four-phase process for businesses and schools to reopen.

ROCHESTER — No region in New York state has currently met all the requirements to reopen safely.

The Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties — meets five of the seven metrics laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

As of Monday, its status included:

• Meets the 14 day decline in hospitalizations or under 15 new hospitalizations for a three-day average.

• Meets the 14 day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths as a three-day average.

• Meets the new hospitalizations requirements of less than two per 100,000 residents of a three-day rolling average of 1.19 per 100,000.

• Meets the requirement for the percentage of hospital beds available, the threshold being 30 percent and the Finger Lakes sitting at 53 percent.

• Exceeds the 30 percent threshold for ICU beds available at 64 percent.

• Does NOT have at least 30 per 1,000 residents tested monthly.

• Has only 361 contact tracers when the minimum is at least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

As it stands, the Finger Lakes region is among five areas which come closest to qualifying to reopen. The others — which also meet five out of the seven stipulations — include Central New York, the Southern Tier, the North Country and the Mohawk Valley.

Businesses will be re-opened in four phases starting with the most essential businesses with the lowest possible risk. Each phase will be followed by a two-week waiting period before the next phase takes place.

Phase I will include construction and the wholesale supply chain, including curbside pick-up businesses. It would be followed by Phase II, which includes professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support and real estate.

Restaurants, food service, hotels and accommodations would reopen in Phase III. Arts, entertainment, recreation and education would be last to open in Phase IV.

Businesses also must reimagine how they are to reopen, Cuomo said, in order to be in compliance with the new standards.

Regions will need to have their plans in place and meet the standards set by the CDC and the state before the current May 15 “NY On Pause” potentially expires.

Cuomo warned residents to learn from history, reminding that in the 1918 influenza, those who opened too quickly saw a second, deadlier wave.

“And you see, watch the other countries that went through this before us ... you see they wanted to re-open also,” he said. “They were feeling the pressure on re-opening. And you study those cases and you see if you re-open too soon or you re-open unintelligently and you can then have an immediate backlash.”

The total number of hospitalizations statewide is down as is the new cases per day, although on Sunday 226 more people died.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1