Now state officials are zeroing in on New York City, the only area which hasn’t gotten the go-ahead yet to begin phase one of reopening.
Cuomo also reported there were 73 coronavirus deaths Monday in New York, the lowest daily number since March, as well as 1,072 additional cases of the virus. The total number of state cases is now 363,836.
New York City has seen the largest number of cases in the country, with more than 196,000 reported, according to city data. It will be the last region in the state to reopen.
The first phase of the opening would include manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade, as well as curbside pickup from some retailers.
“We’re going to be talking about…how that’s going to go, what’s going to be expected of people, what’s going to happen when we don’t see the kind of compliance we need,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in his daily news conference Tuesday.
In order to get the city ready to reopen, the state will concentrate its tracing and testing efforts on areas hit hardest by the virus. The state plans to use ZIP Code data to identify areas where clusters of cases have been reported and allocate resources accordingly.
“We have data, we have tests,” Cuomo said. “We can focus on the new cases in New York City — where are the new cases coming from? … If you have those kinds of resources and that kind of data, you can target your resources right to those areas.”
Areas with the most cases have predominantly minority populations, the governor added. Many newly reported cases are not among essential workers, but people who have been staying home and staying within their communities.
The infection rate in some neighborhoods is double the rate recorded throughout the city, he added. Across the city, the infection rate is about 19%, but some of the most affected areas have rates of 40%.
ZIP Codes with the highest rates of infection include Far Rockaway and Corona in Queens, Flatbush in Brooklyn and Williamsbridge in the Bronx.
“We’re going to focus on those ZIP Codes…and we’re going to slow the infection rate in those communities,” Cuomo said. “That will really bring the numbers down in New York City.”
That process began last week, but it will be expanded this week, the governor explained.
In addition, New York City is continuing to expand its network of tracers, Cuomo said. The state will be focusing on getting those workers trained and online in the coming weeks.
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The city has met five of the seven metrics needed to reopen, according to the state. City hospitals currently have 28% of their hospital beds available, just shy of the 30% needed to reopen. It is also bringing on more contact tracers to get to 30 per 100,000 residents, as mandated by the state.
Cuomo also announced that he will meet with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to discuss New York’s budgetary concerns. The New York State Division of the Budget announced a budget plan in late April which projected a $13.3 billion shortfall.
The governor plans to discuss infrastructure projects that need federal approval, such as the LaGuardia AirTrain, the Cross-Hudson Tunnels and the Second Avenue Subway expansion, to help “supercharge” the economy.
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“We need funding from Washington,” Cuomo said. “If we don’t get funding from Washington, we’re going to have a serious financial issue.”
In total, the state has seen 363,836 cases and 23,564 deaths. In New York City, more than 16,500 people have died from the virus.
Other New York coronavirus developments from Tuesday:
Tracing: New York City is set to have 1,700 tracers in place by June 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his daily news conference Tuesday.
Public transit: New York City government is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to safely accommodate bus and subway riders as the economy reopens. That could include giving masks and hand sanitizer to riders, Gov. Cuomo said, noting that the buses and trains are “the cleanest they have ever been.”
Other infrastructure initiatives: While traffic is down, New York will fast-track the construction of the new Empire Station at Penn Station in Manhattan and the new LaGuardia Airport, Cuomo announced Tuesday. In addition, the state will work to increase renewable energy resources and low-cost renewable power downstate, as well as production upstate with the building of new cross-state transmission cables. It will also expedite the creation of a power cable from Canada to New York City.