By no means was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo saying at his April 13 press briefing that the state could or should reopen anytime soon—but with the curve flattening, he wanted to look ahead to when that could be a reality.
First, Governor Cuomo reported that the total number of hospitalizations was continuing to trend downward, as were daily ICU admissions and daily intubations. And for the first time in as many days, the total number of deaths dipped below the 700 mark to 671 on April 12. (The statewide total, however, has now exceeded 10,000.)
Piggybacking on the positive data, Cuomo unveiled a plan to reopen the state sometime in the future. (There was no clear date for when this might happen.) The idea would first be to continue seeking the consult of experts, while easing off the social isolation among some of the state’s population—in others, let some people leave their homes and go back to work—to help boost economic activity. The state would then have to “recalibrate” the definition of what an “essential worker” was to help bolster that economic activity. To ensure the safety of the public, COVID-19 testing would continue on a regular basis, with precautions still in place. And the state would, in turn, keep a watchful eye on the infection rate, and if it rose at all, Cuomo would once again shut the process down. (Cuomo later met with Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor John Carney of Delaware and Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island to further discuss a coordinated reopening, when that ends up occurring.)
Cuomo did have a section of his presentation, which he emphasized was “personal opinion,” noting that the COVID-19 crisis would only be over once there was a viable vaccine available to the public. And that, he said, could be anywhere from 12-18 months away.