As of this writing, no region has hit all the metrics needed to start reopening on May 15, according to the New York State regional tracking page.
In an effort to tackle racial disparities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a decision to open testing sites at two churches on the North Shore of Staten Island.
Why it matters: Cuomo has faced growing backlash in recent days for failing to address the extreme vulnerabilities presented by nursing homes and long-term facilities, where the coronavirus has killed at least 5,380 residents and workers in New York alone, according to the New York Times.
Cuomo also announced another 231 deaths in the state due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.
More than 25,600 nursing home residents or workers have died from coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for one-third of all coronavirus deaths in the country.
The governor said 20 of the 21 ZIP codes in NY with the most COVID-19 hospitalisations have greater than average percentages of black or Latino residents.
While acknowledging that everyone was facing economic uncertainty and hardships, Cuomo said the state needed to take action to protect those who are most vulnerable, many of whom are anxious about losing a place to live. "We reopen irresponsibly, you will see that infection number go straight up".
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Mr Cuomo has faced particular criticism for high numbers of deaths in the state's care homes. New and total hospitalizations, as well as intensive care cases, continued to drop.
"This would be really painful news and would open up an entirely different chapter", said Cuomo, who added that it was previously believed that while children could transmit the disease, they did not become seriously ill from the virus.
If those criteria are met, the state would issue an executive order allowing that region to start the reopening process, state officials said.
People wearing protective face masks wait in line to receive free food at a curbside pantry for needy residents in New York City, on April 24, 2020. There have been 64 cases in Montgomery County with four deaths, and Schoharie County has 45 cases, with one death.
But the Buffalo area, the Capital Region, the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island were all meeting fewer of the goals. Over 100,000 elderly people live in care facilities in NY.
It's unclear how many overall infections occurred at those facilities, however, as the state doesn't report that figure, the newspaper said.
Senate sponsor Brad Hoylman said in a statement that while he "applauds" the governor's action, he would still like to pass a law to extend the time until August 2021. "They work", he said.