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Long Island not meeting targets to reopen on May 15

Long Island is not ready to reopen its economy and is behind even New York City in meeting key criteria while fighting coronavirus, according to a list of goalposts for different regions of the state issued Monday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

New York state will start reopening its economy on a regional basis as the ‘Pause’ order expires on May 15, but downstate areas including Long Island will likely do so far later than upstate, Cuomo said as he released new details of the plan, reported Newsday.

The reopening is “not going to happen statewide. This state has different regions, which are in much different situations than other regions in the state,” he said. “Rather than wait for the whole state to be ready, reopen on a regional basis.”

Later Cuomo showed a map of high- and low-risk parts of the state in considering the potential spread of COVID-19. Long Island, New York City, the mid-Hudson, Capital District and Western New York were listed as “higher-risk regions” that will face a steeper curve to meet the requirements for a reopening of their businesses and institutions.

Other upstate areas appeared headed toward a phased restart of their local economies.

New York City had met one objective that has eluded the Long Island region in the governor’s report: Recording a 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths over a three-day average.

Still, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Monday she hopes Long Island will restart before New York City. She said Nassau and Suffolk counties would like to reopen at the same time and have been coordinating with Westchester County, a similar suburban area.

Citing population density, considered a risk factor in the virus’ spread, Curran said, “I believe our timeline is going to be different from New York City’s.”

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