Governor Cuomo announces Capital Region set to enter phase three of reopening on June 17

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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 The new law will reportedly remove any legal conflicts with the outdated provision banning the wearing of masks in public and the Governor’s Executive Order.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:

REGIONWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAY
New York City1.70%1.50%1.70%
Capital Region0.60%0.50%0.70%
Central New York1.30%0.60%1.20%
Finger Lakes1.10%0.60%0.60%
Long Island0.90%1.00%1.00%
Hudson Valley0.80%1.10%1.30%
Mohawk Valley0.90%0.80%1.00%
North Country0.30%0.20%0.20%
Southern Tier0.50%0.30%0.20%
Western New York1.30%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:

CountyTotal PositiveNew Positive
Albany2,0169
Allegany541
Broome6473
Cattaraugus1010
Cayuga1030
Chautauqua1060
Chemung1380
Chenango1380
Clinton980
Columbia4313
Cortland420
Delaware880
Dutchess4,04914
Erie6,75336
Essex400
Franklin251
Fulton2321
Genesee2120
Greene2501
Hamilton50
Herkimer1281
Jefferson811
Lewis200
Livingston1221
Madison3330
Monroe3,34020
Montgomery1030
Nassau41,17258
Niagara115411
NYC209,493539
Oneida125316
Onondaga2,49824
Ontario2300
Orange10,5635
Orleans2611
Oswego1222
Otsego802
Putnam1,2853
Rensselaer5111
Rockland13,41115
Saratoga5140
Schenectady7232
Schoharie540
Schuyler120
Seneca630
St. Lawrence2140
Steuben2551
Suffolk40,61556
Sullivan1,4302
Tioga1370
Tompkins1731
Ulster1,7395
Warren2570
Washington2420
Wayne1312
Westchester34,25378
Wyoming910
Yates390

Business guidance for phase three of the state’s reopening plan is available here.

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