In Early CCP Virus Hot Spot New York, Business Slowly Reopens

NEW YORK—The suburbs north of New York City eased outbreak restrictions, and the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange opened for the first time in two months, as the state focused more intently Tuesday on restarting its economy.

After weeks of declining deaths and hospitalizations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was time to focus on relaunching New York Citys moribund economy.

The governor laid out a plan that included accelerating major infrastructure projects and tackling transmission of the virus in the hardest-hit neighborhoods after ringing open the Stock Exchange.

“Were going to turn the page on COVID-19, and were going to start focusing on reopening,” he said during a briefing at the exchange.

The mid-Hudson Valley, including the citys northern suburbs, on Tuesday became the latest region of New York state to begin slowly phasing in economic activity. Long Island was expected to follow Wednesday, which would leave New York City as the only region awaiting the start of reopening.

Cuomo said the state will direct outbreak-fighting resources to 10 city ZIP codes that account for many of the new hospitalizations. Those cases are coming from mostly lower-income and predominantly minority neighborhoods, he said.

Citing the need for infrastructure spending to boost the economy, Cuomo announced accelerated timelines for improvement projects at the citys Penn Station and LaGuardia Airport. He said the state would need help from the federal government for other projects and that he planned to travel Wednesday to Washington and meet with President Donald Trump.

cuomo on deaths
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a CCP virus briefing at Northwell Feinstein Institute For Medical Research in Manhasset on May 6, 2020. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Statewide hospitalization rates continue to decline, with about 200 new cases a day. The number of deaths reported Monday dropped to 73, the lowest number since late March.

“In this absurd new reality, that is good news,” Cuomo said.

New York state has recorded more than 23,000 deaths from the outbreak, a figure that does not include another 4,749 “probable” deaths in New York City that havent been confirmed by a lab test.

The largely suburban counties north of the city entered the first phase of the states four-part reopening process after meeting criteria for reopening including declining deaths and hospitalizations.

The region now easing restrictions includes Westchester County, where New Yorks first major outbreak happened in early March. That led the governor to restrict activity in a “containment zone,” a precursor to his statewide order.

Kemesha Salmon had her door open Tuesday at TP Toys on North Avenue in New Rochelle, the site of the outbreak, for the first time since March 12.

Because she sells educational toys, she was deemed essential and could still sell, but thinks only her most loyal customers were aware. Now, passersby will know shes back.

“A lot of people did not know that we were doing contactless shopping all this time,” she said. “Im looking up.”

There have been more than 1,300 deaths so far in Westchester County and nearly 500 in the nearby Rockland County. Both have had more fatalities per capita than Manhattan, where restrictions are expected to stay in place at least into June.

Stock Exchange Opens

Traders cheered as Cuomo rang the opening bell of the Stock Exchange, which had been closed since March when the state shut down.

Under rules put in place to prevent a resurgence, traders will be required to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. Anyone entering the exchange will be asked to avoid public transportation.

“We will respect the sacrifices of frontline workers and the city at large by proceeding cautiously, limiting the strain on the healthcare system and the risk to those who work beneath our roof,” NYSE President Stacey Cunningham wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Trader Steven Capo wears a protective mask outside the New York Stock Exchange as the trading floor partially reopens in New York on May 26, 2020. (Mark Lennihan/AP Images for the New York Stock Exchange)

Contact Tracers

New York City has hired 1,700 contact tracers who will monitor infected people and reach out to their close contacts, de Blasio said Tuesday.

“This is a huge new piece of the puzzle,” de BRead More – Source