NEW YORK STATE (NEWS10) — Governor Cuomo announced Saturday that Western New York is expected to enter Phase three of reopening June 16 and the Capital Region is expected to enter Phase three of reopening on June 17 after a review of regional data by global public health experts.
The Governor said the state has reached the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began. The number of total hospitalizations was down Friday to the lowest level since March 20 to 1,734. Thirty-two people in New York passed away due to COVID-19, down from a record-high of 800 just nine weeks ago.
Additionally, the Governor announced signed legislation (S.8275-A/A.10348) suspending the forfeiture of unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 state of emergency, aligning with the Executive Order issued by the Governor on May 14, 2020. Over 44 million Americans across the United States have applied for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number is reportedly expected to grow as the pandemic continues. People who have had forfeit penalties placed against them from past claims are currently not able to collect unemployment benefits. The Governor said the new law will allow those people to collect benefits even if forfeit penalties have been placed against them.
The Governor also signed legislation (S.8415/A.10446-A) repealing criminalization of wearing a mask in public. The Governor had previously issued an Executive Order requiring that New Yorkers wear face coverings while in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The new law will reportedly remove any legal conflicts with the outdated provision banning the wearing of masks in public and the Governor’s Executive Order.
“As we look ahead, Western New York is expected to move to Phase 3 this Tuesday and the Capital Region should move to Phase 3 on Wednesday. But as usual, we have to stay smart and continue proceeding with caution. Look around the nation and look at the spikes other states are experiencing – we’re not in a vacuum,” Governor Cuomo said. “In just about half the states, infection rates are climbing up. New York is the anomaly – we reopened and our rates continue to come down, but only because we continue to remain smart and vigilant in this fight against the COVID virus.”
State Health Officials report out of the 70,840 tests conducted in New York State Friday, only 916, or 1.29%, were positive. Each region’s percentage of positive tests over the last three days is as follows:
|New York City||1.70%||1.50%||1.70%|
|Central New York||1.30%||0.60%||1.20%|
|Western New York||1.30%||1.40%||1.10%|
The Governor also confirmed 916 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 382,630 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 382,630 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
|County||Total Positive||New Positive|
Business guidance for phase three of the state’s reopening plan is available here.
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