By Minhee Lee
Governor Cuomo announced today that global public health experts have given Western New York the green light to enter Phase III reopening, joining five other New York regions already in Phase III— Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, and the Southern Tier. The Capital Region, which encompasses Albany, the state capital, is on track to follow suit on Wednesday, June 17. Gatherings of up to 25 people will also be permitted in regions currently in or entering Phase III. This is an expansion from the previous restriction of 10 people.
The benchmark numbers continue to go down according to the press release—the three-day average on COVID-19 related hospitalizations and fatalities has hit the lowest point since the beginning of the pandemic. Only 1.1% of 56,611 tests that took place across the state yesterday came back positive. Even in New York City, the state’s COVID-19 epicenter, the testing came back positive at a rate of 1.3% on Sunday, down from 1.4% on Saturday, and 1.7% on Friday. New York City is currently in Phase I.