Cuomo: We're Opening Beaches for Memorial Day

Sunday, 17 May, 2020

Andrew Cuomo briefs the media during a coronavirus news conference at his office in New York City on May 9. No volleyball or football games will be allowed on the beaches, per CBS News, and picnic areas, arcades, concessions, and other places people could congregate will stay closed.

Local governments will decide whether to open municipal beaches.

Cuomo was following his counterpart in New Jersey, Phil Murphy, who on Thursday announced he would open his state's beaches for the traditional May 23-25 start of summer, news that was welcomed by many beach goers eyeing the Jersey shore.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced at his news briefing on Saturday, May 16 that two more counties - Westchester and Suffolk - are now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has officially extended NY state's coronavirus shutdown for two more weeks, though some regions can begin reopening Friday.

In each of the three states, the beaches will open on the Friday before Memorial Day.

Governor Cuomo has repeatedly said that any decisions about beaches and lakeshores would need to be made across the region to prevent residents from crossing state lines, crowding seashores and potentially spreading the virus.

"What you want to do is increase economic activity as much as you can without spiking the infection rate", Cuomo said. "So I think this plan makes the most sense". If they choose to open, they must follow the state's requirements and the public must be notified by May 20.

Cuomo said the five regions of the state that were allowed on Friday to reopen for business - out of 10 total regions - were required to have a certain number of tracers proportionate to their populations. He urged a "smart" reopening and encouraged officials to learn from the "lessons that are around us".

NY is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with upwards of 22,300 deaths attributed to the virus as of Friday. Health experts say contact tracing is critical to isolating potentially contagious people in order to limit further outbreaks.

"We're right about where we were when we started", Cuomo said, with a chart that noted daily coronavirus deaths on Friday were 157 - comparable to the number of people who died on March 27.

He told New Yorkers: "Be smart, be diligent and don't underestimate this virus".