The Mid-Hudson Region of New York remains on track to begin the economic reopening process today, according to Gov,. Andrew M. Cuomo who went to Jones Beach on Sunday for a noontime news conference.
Cuomo said that it appears all required contract tracers for the Mid-Hudson Region will have been trained by today so the first phase of the four-phase reopening plan can get underway.
Cuomo said he expects that the Long Island Region will be ready to begin reopening on Wednesday, leaving New York City as the only one of the state’s 10 regions to remain closed for most economic activity.
Cuomo announced that professional sports leagues can begin their training camp activities that day as well. The leagues would include Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association as well as the Women’s National Basketball Association, the National Football League, National Hockey League and others.
Cuomo’s announcement about opening up sports activity stood in stark contrast to news from Washington, D.C., that former New York Knicks Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing has tested positive for COVID-19 and is hospitalized. Ewing is now working as the coach of the men’s basketball team at Georgetown University.
Cuomo reported that the Nourish New York Initiative, which supplies dairy products from farmers in upstate New York to those who need food in the downstate area has so far supplied more than 10,000 households with milk and cheese.
Cuomo said that an important part of the recovery process needs to be preparation for the next crisis.
“Does anybody really believe this is the last time? Like Superstorm Sandy, ‘Well it’s a once-in-500-years flood.’ Yeah, sure, once in 500 years,” Cuomo said. “It happens three times a year now. It can’t be once in 500 years. There are new rules. I believe there’s going to be another public health emergency. Different virus. This virus. Some other public health emergency. Learn from this. Build back better.”
Toward that goal, Cuomo said the blue-ribbon commission to be focused on improving telehealth and broadband access using new, innovative technologies chaired by former Google CEO and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is ready to go to work.
Cuomo identified the 15 members of the commission as: Richard Parsons, chair of the Rockefeller Foundation; Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; Dennis Rivera, former chair of SEIU Healthcare; Plinio Ayala, president and CEO of Per Scholas; Charles Philips, chair/former CEO of Infor;
Sid Mukherjee, physician/author and assistant professor at Columbia University; Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival; Dr. Toyin Ajayl, chief health officer and co-founder of Cityblock Health; Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Martha Pollack, president of Cornell University;
Steven Koonin, director of the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress; Satish K. Tripathi, president of SUNY Buffalo; Hamdi Ulukaya, founder, chairman and CEO of Chobani; Maurie McInnis, incoming president of SUNY Stony Brook; and Ginny Rommety, chair of IBM.
Cuomo used Jones Beach as an example of what government can do when it becomes creative. He noted that the area was marsh when Robert Moses conceived of the idea of creating a state park and beach on the ocean. Over a period of three years, the almost seven miles of beach were created from sand dredged from bay areas and piled 12 to 14 feet high. Workers planted beach grass to help stabilize the sand.
Cuomo reported that deaths Saturday from the coronavirus ticked up to 109 from 84 the day before. There were 27 deaths in nursing homes and 82 in hospitals.
Statewide there have been a total of 23,391 COVID-19 deaths, according to statistics obtained Sunday from the state Department of Health.
Deaths in Westchester total 1,462. Rockland saw 491 of its residents fall victim to the virus. There were no new deaths in Putnam again yesterday, with the total remaining at 59. There have been 362 Orange County residents lost to the virus and 141 deaths in Dutchess County.
New York has had 361,515 people test positive for the virus. There were 32,968 cases identified in Westchester, 12,963 in Rockland, 1,208 in Putnam, 10,225 in Orange and 3,807 in Dutchess.