The Capital Region Has Slid Back To Two Criteria Away From Its First Phase Of Reopening (Updated)

The two criteria standing in the way of phase one are a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations and a 14-day decline in hospital deaths.

The Capital Region is one criterion away from beginning its phased reopening following the COVID-19 crisis. (I Love New York)

New York State’s recently launched interactive map, tracking regional reopenings, has quickly become a daily must-visit. And as it stands today, the Capital Region is on the cusp of beginning phase one of its reopening.

As Saratoga Living has reported in the last few days, the Capital Region began the week having met five of the seven criteria to begin the long, phased reopening process. To jog your memory, the seven criteria are as follows: a 14-day decline in hospitalizations (or a three-day average of less than 15 new hospitalizations); a 14-day decline in hospitalized deaths (or a three-day average of under five new ones); a three-day rolling average of under two new hospitalizations for every 100,000 residents; the share of total hospital beds available is under the 30 percent threshold; the share of total ICU beds available is under the 30 percent threshold; 30 residents per 1,000 that are being tested monthly (seven-day average of new tests per day); and 30 contact tracers per 100,000 resident (or to meet the current infection rate).

While earlier in the day, the Capital Region had just a single criterion left before being able to reopen—a 14-day decline in hospitalized deaths, or a three-day average of under five new ones—it has since backslid to five out of seven again, with an update to its 14-day decline in net hospitalizations. (The data in the chart is fluid.)

The four-phase reopening process will look something like this:

Phase 1: businesses that can reopen include construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, retail (curbside pickup) and agriculture/forestry/fishing

Phase 2: professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support and real estate/rental leasing

Phase 3: restaurants/food services and hotels/accommodations

Phase 4: arts/entertainment/recreation and education

The predicted average between each phase, which is wholly dependent on whether the phase successfully occurs without infection rates rising, is about two weeks.

During the May 11 press briefing by New York Governor Cuomo, the governor noted three regions that had met all of the criteria to begin their phased reopening after this Friday, May 15: the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier. A fourth has since joined them: the North Country. Central New York is one criterion away from reopening, while the Capital Region, Western New York, the Mid-Hudson region and Long Island have met five of the seven criteria. New York City has met just four.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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