The seven governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Delaware formed a joint reopening strategy council. Governor Cuomo announced the Multi-State Council, with the six other governors, to get people back to work and restore the economy.
Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo yesterday announced the creation of a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. This announcement builds on the states' ongoing regional approach to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coordinating group - comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state -- will work together to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states' stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.
"This is going to take us working together. ... Just because those numbers are flattening, it's no time to relax. We're not out of the woods. In this reopening, we could lose all the progress we made in one week if we do it wrong. We have a number of challenges ahead. We have to figure out how to do this.", Governor Cuomo said at his daily briefing Monday night.
The council will create this framework using every tool available to accomplish the goal of easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread - including testing, contact tracing, treatment and social distancing - and will rely on the best available scientific, statistical, social and economic information to manage and evaluate those tools.
"We have been collaborating closely with our neighboring states to combat this pandemic through a uniform approach to social distancing and density reduction and it has been working well. Now it is time to start opening the valve slowly and carefully while watching the infection rate meter so we don't trigger a second wave of new infections," Governor Cuomo said. "This is not a light switch that we can just flick on and everything goes back to normal - we have to come up with a smart, consistent strategy to restart the systems we shut down and get people back to work, and to the extent possible we want to do that through a regional approach because we are a regional economy. New York is partnering with these five states to create a multi-state council that will come up with a framework based on science and data to gradually ease the stay at home restrictions and get our economy back up and running."
As of today, nearly 273,000 have been infected and more than 13,000 people have died in NY, NJ and CT; still, there are signs the curve is flattening, so state governors are looking to ways to restart the economy.
Cuomo said this weekend that data reported from hospitals across the state reflect a flattening of the curve, an objective desperately needed for the public's safety and an early step toward reopening the state.
New York State deaths topped 10,000 Monday following an additional 671 deaths reported by Cuomo. In total, 10,056 New Yorkers have died.
Though the curve of new COVID-19 cases has more or less flattened now, people are still getting sick, people are still being intubated and put into intensive care, and people are still dying. Cuomo went on to say, "Everybody's anxious to reopen. ... People need to get back to work. ... The worst scenario would be if we did all of this, we got that number down, everybody went to extraordinary means and then we go to reopen and we reopen too fast or we reopen and there's unanticipated consequences and we see that number go up again."