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Cuomo Says Western NY Can Move to Next Phase

But reopening in NYC could be weeks away
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2020 2:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Western New York, including the city of Buffalo, has met coronavirus containment goals and can begin to reopen its economy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Hospitals will be able to schedule elective surgeries as the region enters the first phase of reopening on Tuesday, but gatherings such as church services and sports events will still be banned, Cuomo said. "Personal disclosure—I want to watch the Buffalo Bills," said Cuomo, who held Monday's briefing in Buffalo. "But I’m still objective, I’m acting as governor.”

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Most of upstate New York will have started reopening by the end of this week, but it will likely be weeks before New York City and its suburbs meet metrics for reopening including the availability of hospital beds and the hiring of enough contact tracers to contain the spread of the virus, the AP reports. As part of the reopening, judges and staff members will return to courthouses in 30 upstate counties starting this week, Cuomo said. The governor said 106 people died of COVID-19 statewide on Sunday, the lowest number since March 26. Cuomo's own COVID-19 test, taken at his daily briefing on Sunday, was negative, he said.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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