Long Island looks toward reopening as Cuomo lifts ban on gatherings
After months of shutdowns, Long Island is on track to begin the process of gradual reopening on Wednesday, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Nassau and Suffolk still must meet two of the seven metrics set by the state: a 14-day decline in hospital deaths and the establishment of an army of contact tracers.
If that happens, Long Island would begin Phase 1, which would open the door for construction, agriculture, some retail, manufacturing and wholesale trade.
County executives Steve Bellone and Laura Curran both said they were ready to take the next step.
“We can get our economy going. We can get the recovery going – start Phase 1 and do it safely,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone.
Some of the state's restrictions on gatherings have been relaxed going into the Memorial Day weekend. Groups of 10 or fewer people can get together as long as social distancing is observed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
Meanwhile, Northwell Health has seen its COVID-19 cases drop from around 3,500 to fewer than 800. Officials there are urging people to keep taking precautions to prevent a second wave of cases.
“Stay safe, maintain social distancing, wear masks and continue to practice good hand hygiene,” said Michael Goldberg, of Northwell Health. “If we continue to do that, we'll stay on the path that we are.”
Once Long Island enters Phase 1, there will be a two-week waiting period. If all seven metrics are still met, the region could potentially move on to Phase 2.
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