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Cuomo says some businesses might be able to open in New York after May 15

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFoo Fighters, Dave Chapelle cover 'Creep' at first MSG show since pandemic Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House New York City moving thousands of people from hotels back to shelters MORE (D) said Sunday that it may be safe for some construction and manufacturing firms outside New York City, the epicenter of the state’s coronavirus outbreak, to reopen in mid-May.

Cuomo’s executive order shutting down most of the state is set to expire May 15, at which point the businesses could begin resuming operations as part of a first phase of reopening. During a second phase, other businesses would reopen based on an assessment of how essential they are and the risk their reopening would pose to the public. 

"On many of these things, I'm not comfortable getting too far ahead of ourselves," Cuomo said at a briefing, adding that a broader reopening of the southern part of the state, which includes New York City and Suffolk and Nassau counties, would be “problematic” and require coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut officials.

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Cuomo also said keeping New York City residents in place through the summer is likely not a realistic option.

"You can't tell people in a dense urban environment, all through the summer months, we don't have anything for you to do, stay in your apartment with the three kids, you know? That doesn't work. There's a sanity equation here also that we have to take into consideration," Cuomo said.

The governor also announced 367 new deaths, the lowest total in the state since March 31. On Saturday, Cuomo said, 1,087 new patients were hospitalized in the state, an increase of 685 from the previous day. A total of 12,839 people are hospitalized in the state as of Sunday.

“That would normally be terrible news,” Cuomo said. “It’s only not terrible news compared to where we were.”

Cuomo added that while the decline in mortality was a hopeful sign, the deaths were still “horrific.”

“There is no relative context to death,” he said. “Death is death.”