New York City will enter the first phase of the state's reopening plan on June 8, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo made the announcement Friday afternoon at his daily briefing, two days after Long Island entered Phase 1, leaving NYC the state's only territory yet to begin its road back from COVID-19 shutdown.
The city has met four out of seven CDC metrics the state is utilizing to guide what officials hope will be a safe, controlled reopening.
Two of those remaining criteria relate to the share of available hospital beds and the share of available ICU beds. The third criteria is that a region must have 30 contact tracers per every 1,000 residents.
Cuomo says the city is on pace to meet those numbers by the end of next week, meaning the city can allow curbside and in-store retail pickup and resume non-essential manufacturing and construction by June 8.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said recently that he expected the city to begin reopening in early-June. Phase 1 of reopening in the city could see as many as 400,000 people return to work.
The MTA reported an increase in ridership this month after a 90 percent decline in April. MetroNorth and the LIRR are also increasing rail service and train capacity as more people resume commuting.
The governor added that five more inter-county regions of the state will enter Phase 2 this weekend. His statement clarified earlier confusion from an executive order issued late last night that did not specifically mention Phase 2.
The novel coronavirus has sickened nearly 200,000 NYC residents. The respiratory disease the virus causes, COVID-19, has been blamed for more than 21,400 deaths in the city since March.
The state has prioritized testing and tracing as keys to reopening with a lowered risk of a second wave of deadly COVID-19 outbreaks.
Results of a recent antibody study suggest at least 1 in 5 New Yorkers had been exposed to the virus.
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