NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced that New York state has reached its lowest number of coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths — and he said outdoor dining will now be permitted as part of Phase 2 of reopening in the state.
“Restaurants in the seven regions that have already entered phase two… can reopen for outdoor dining beginning tomorrow, June 4th,” a press release issued by Cuomo’s office Wednesday afternoon said.
The Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York have all entered Phase 2, his office noted.
“Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated,” the release said.
Outdoor dining wasn't originally permitted under Phase 2 of reopening. The change comes as the state sees continued progress in the fight against coronavirus.
At his briefing Wednesday morning, Cuomo said the state had seen the the lowest number of deaths yet during the pandemic—49. Of those deaths, 37 were in hospitals and 12 were in nursing homes.
The governor also said hospitalizations were also at their lowest level yet—under 150.
“We have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever,” Cuomo said.
There have now been at least 24,072 deaths and 373,040 cases due to COVID-19 in the state.
Cuomo warned that COVID-19 was "still a real threat” as New York grapples with the virus amid ongoing civil unrest over the death of George Floyd.
“You have the COVID crisis, you have the murder of Mr. Floyd,” Cuomo said. “It’s then wrapped in an environment and a dynamic that is racially charged and politically charged. It makes it a very, very perilous time in this country.”
“If you’re going to protest, protest intelligently,” Cuomo urged. "Remember the COVID virus is still out there."