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New York extends coronavirus shutdown to May 15

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoOvernight Health Care: NIH chief: Trump has not met with task force in 'quite some time' | CDC reports 300,000 more deaths than expected this year | UK to start challenge trials for vaccine Cuomo: Travel within Tri-State area should be avoided due to COVID-19 spike California plans to review coronavirus vaccine independently MORE (D) announced Thursday that he is extending the state's stay-at-home order for nonessential workers until May 15.

The extension of "New York Pause" policies comes as Cuomo said those policies are working, helping to limit the spread of the virus, but that more time is needed to prevent a resurgence.

"New York Pause has worked," Cuomo said at a news briefing. "We're not there yet."

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"We have to continue doing what we're doing," he said.

Cuomo said the good signs are that the hospitalization rate and rate of intubations to put patients on ventilators are both down, but that they are not down enough to ease up on policies.

The key indicator officials will look at as they start to plan to reopen the economy is how many people each sick person is infecting, Cuomo said.

That rate for New York is currently 0.9 people being infected by each sick person, showing the virus is declining, but Cuomo warned if it rises only slightly to 1.2, the virus would start taking off again.

Therefore, he said, caution is needed in starting to reopen.

Cuomo also again called on the federal government to help increase testing, which needs to be dramatically expanded to be able to reopen, experts say.

"The plain reality is we have to do it in partnership with the federal government," Cuomo said.

The state also needs to create an "army" of public health workers to conduct tracing of who infected people have been in contact with, a key step in containing the virus as businesses reopen.