Cuomo extended stay-at-home orders for parts of the state, including N.Y.C.
As parts of upstate New York prepared for a gradual reopening, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued an executive order late Thursday night extending stay-at-home orders for regions, including New York City, that do not meet the state’s criteria to begin a limited reopening.
Under the new order, the five parts of the state that have not met key requirements — which including declines in new positive virus cases and deaths, and increases in testing, hospital capacity and contact tracing — will remain shutdown through May 28. (An earlier version of this briefing misstated the length of the stay-at-home order’s extension.)
Mr. Cuomo, in a tweet announcing the new order, said on Thursday that those remaining regions, which include New York City’s suburbs and the Buffalo area, could reopen “the moment they hit their benchmarks.”
Five regions of the state were cleared to begin reopening some nonessential businesses — including construction, manufacturing and curbside retail — on Friday, provided that appropriate social-distancing and cleaning measures were in place.
The areas are the Finger Lakes, including Rochester; Central New York, a five-county area including Syracuse; the Southern Tier, which borders Pennsylvania; the Mohawk Valley, west of Albany; and the rural North County, which includes the Adirondack Mountains.
Even as New York was by some measures the state hardest hit by the pandemic, the outbreak has largely been concentrated in the dense New York City region, and its effects were felt less in the regions that have been cleared to reopen.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this month that New York City was not likely to ease restrictions on business and gatherings before June.
New Jersey’s beaches, a major tourist draw and economic engine, will open in a limited way by Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer, Gov. Philip D. Murphy said on Thursday.
“The last thing that any of us wanted was for a summertime down the shore to be a memory,” Mr. Murphy said at his daily news briefing.
The move, which Mr. Murphy called “getting toward the edge of what we can responsibly do,” is a major step toward a broader reopening of one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
The rules governing how beaches can operate were officially laid out in an executive order signed by Mr. Murphy later in the day. Under the order, the rules will take effect May 22.
Local governments run beaches and boardwalks in their jurisdictions, and they have discretion in imposing restrictions. But local officials will have to enact social-distancing rules for beaches, including limiting their capacity and requiring that people stay six feet apart, the governor said.
Organized and contact sports will be prohibited, as will large, organized events, including fireworks displays, that could draw crowds. Boardwalk restaurants will only be able to offer takeout and delivery. Amusement parks, arcades and other diversions will remain closed.
The governor’s order recommends but does not require people to wear face coverings while in public settings at the beaches.
In late March, as the most dire public health crisis in a century swept across New York, sick people and those caring for them faced a hospital system that was less than the sum of its mighty parts.
Yet at the same time, 3,500 hospital beds were available, some just 20 minutes from Elmhurst, according to state records.
Why weren’t patients moved sooner from Elmhurst?
For decades, many hospitals had virtually nothing to do with one another. New York has more than 200 hospitals run by about 80 nonprofit corporations and government agencies.
“We don’t really have a public health care ‘system,’” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said. “We have a system of hospitals.”
The situation at Elmhurst revealed what officials had not foreseen: No single body existed to match patients with available beds.
Within days, the state created one in the form of a live map of conditions at each hospital, regardless of who operated it. When a hospital was filling up, scouts in the field would identify patients who could be moved.
At the Health & Hospitals Corporation, the public agency that runs the city hospitals, doctors were concerned that patients were too unstable to move and the disease was too unpredictable. The agency focused on sending reinforcements to hospitals, rather than transferring patients.
But by March 25, city authorities changed course. “We dramatically increased the number of transfers out,” said Matthew Siegler, executive vice president of the Health & Hospitals Corporation.
Michael Dowling, the chief executive of Northwell who helped oversee some patients transfers said this type of coordination was abnormal, but “It was necessary for the protection of the community.”
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Reporting was contributed by Jim Dwyer, Michael Gold, Jesse McKinley and Matt Stevens.