As 5 of 10 inter-county regions of New York entered Phase 1 of their reopening on Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state expects to see the rate of novel coronavirus infections increase: it's unavoidable with increased density and activity.
The difference this time is that state and regional officials will be prepared to act accordingly.
"Learn from the lessons that are around us," Cuomo said during his Friday morning daily briefing from Albany. "We've seen other countries open, we've seen cities open, we've seen them since have to close because the activity level went up too high, too fast."
"We expect the [infection rate] to go up, but it has to go up at a level that we can control," he continued. "This has to be monitored very closely."
Per CDC guidelines weighing hospital capacity versus confirmed coronavirus cases per capita, New York's Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, Finger Lake and Central regions reopened non-essential construction, manufacturing and agricultural businesses on Friday. Retailers in those areas were also allowed to offer curbside or in-store pickup to customers.
Cuomo said New York will reopen or impose new restrictions based only upon what the data says. His New York PAUSE order was extended into mid-June. But he clarified that the remaining regions of the state will reopen at whichever date they meet the CDC guidelines, even if it's earlier than June 13.
As beaches in the area reopen for Memorial Day weekend, Cuomo asked New Yorkers to stay careful.
"Everyone is vulnerable to this virus and government can't keep you safe," he said. "Only you can keep yourself safe."
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