As the count of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. today passed the million mark, with 1,022,265 people confirmed as positive and a death toll of 57,862, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took another step toward reopening businesses and reducing requirements for isolation and social distancing in New York state.
At a news conference in Syracuse, Cuomo announced the creation of the New York Forward Reopening Advisory Board. The group will help guide the state’s reopening strategy. It will be chaired by Steve Cohen and Bill Mulrow, both former secretaries to Cuomo.
Several Westchester and Hudson Valley business and nonprofit leaders are among those named to the group. They include: Ajay Banga, CEO of Purchase-based MasterCard; Elizabeth Bradley, president of Vassar College; James Cahill, president of the NYS Building and Construction Trades; Sabrina HoSang Jordan, CEO of Caribbean Food Delights Inc. in Tappan; Maria Imperial, CEO of the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester; Scott Rechler, CEO and chairman of RXR Realty; Belinda S. Miles, president of SUNY Westchester Community College; Leonard Schleifer, CEO of Tarrytown-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; and Kristine M. Young, president of Orange County Community College.
“We’ve come up with a phased plan to reopen New York so every region in the state has the same opening template as we begin this process,” Cuomo said. “We have to be smart about this – emotions can’t drive our reopening process – and we’ve come up with factual data points that each region must monitor as they begin to reopen. We’ve also created a New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board made up of business, academic, community and civic leaders from across the state to help guide this process and ensure businesses are following the necessary guidelines to preserve public health as we work towards a new normal.”
Statistics received Tuesday afternoon from the state’s Department of Health showed that so far there have been 17,638 deaths in New York state due to COVID-19, with 1,096 deaths in Westchester. Rockland County lost 387 residents to the virus, while 45 Putnam residents died. There were 228 Orange County residents who were victims, and 66 deaths in Dutchess County.
There were 28,245 people in Westchester who tested positive for the disease, along with 11,453 in Rockland. Putnam produced 932 positive tests, while there were 8,374 in Orange and 2,817 in Dutchess. Of the 844,994 people tested statewide for COVID-19, 295,106 were positive.