NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York State had 488 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours along with 161 deaths related to coronavirus-related illness, the best daily metrics on record since March 19.

“That is just about where we started this horrific situation, before we went into the abyss of the COVID virus,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo during Monday’s daily COVID-19 briefing. “We’re on the other side of the mountain. It’s an exciting new phase we’re all anxious to get back to work.”

Last week Cuomo outlined his region-by-region 7-part criteria needed to restart the economy across various parts of the state starting as early as Friday, May 15 when his PAUSE executive order on social restrictions expires.

Different parts of the state will reopen businesses at different rates, on different dates based on local officials decisions and Cuomo’s baseline requirements.

“Now we can intelligently turn towards reopening,” said Cuomo. “Local regions, all across the state, should start to prepare for it and people as well. We’re going to open when we are ready to open. What is ‘ready to open’ mean? First, the number of hospitalizations and the infection rates.”

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Those coronavirus rates have been slowly dropping in New York after hitting a plateau in the second week of April.

Since then, for a region to reopen, Cuomo’s government has set criteria that it must:

According to CDC guidelines, a region has to have at least 14 days of decline in total hospitalizations and deaths on a three day rolling average
Regions with few COVID-19 cases can not have 15 new cases or five deaths on a three day rolling average
A region must have fewer than two new COVID-19 patients per 100,000 residents per day
Hospitals can’t be filled to more than 70% capacity – including ICU beds – leaving 30% available in the event of a surge
All hospitals must have a 90 day stockpile of PPE
There must be 30 tests per 1,000 residents ready to go
Regions must have 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, with additional tracers available based on the projected number of cases in the region
A risk/reward analysis of which businesses can reopen, with most essential businesses with lowest risk being prioritized

Phase 1: Construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, select retail with curbside pickup
Phase 2: Professional services, finance and insurance, retail administrative support, real estate/rental leasing
Phase 3: Restaurants/food services, hotels/accommodations
Phase 4: Arts/entertainment/recreation/education

Businesses must adjust their practices to ensure a safe work environment and track cases
There will be a regional “control room” to monitor progress

“Some places are very close: Central New York has just one or two criteria that haven’t been met yet, and you can do that with Long Island, New York City all across the state,” said Cuomo. “When we reopen, we’re talking about a phased reopening, that’s what everyone basically is doing.”

Initial businesses among the first to reopen will include those that are more essential and pose a lower risk such as construction, manufacturing, retail curbside pickup and agriculture for forestry and fishing.

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