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Fifth Region Of The State Allowed To Begin Reopening

ALBANY, NY (WSKG) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the phased in reopening of another region of the state Wednesday. He said New York’s North Country and the Central New York regions have met the state’s criteria.

They join the Rochester - Finger Lakes region, the Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley to begin reopening manufacturing and construction firms that can do so safely, as early as this weekend.

Cuomo said people in those regions have to be cautious, and heed warnings by White House corona virus task member Dr. Anthony Fauci about the dangers of reinfection if the reopening is too rapid. The governor said the data will have to be closely monitored.

“It has to be monitored, and if you see those numbers starting to move, you will know if you’re reopening too soon,” Cuomo said. “And if you see that virus spreading.”

Other parts of the state still face obstacles to reopening, including a hospitalization or death rate that is not yet declining, and inadequate numbers of extra hospital beds.

Cuomo also announced that twelve more counties can begin elective surgical procedures, under some restrictions, including most of the Capital Region’s counties.  Hospitals have been losing hundreds of millions of dollars and many have had to lay off staff.

Cuomo also addressed the worrisome incidences of children being hospitalized for a disorder similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome, and believed to be related to the corona virus.  He said the state Department of Health is investigating 102 cases, and three children have died.

He said the children have all tested positive for the virus or have the presence of antibodies indicating that they had the virus, possibly weeks before the onset of the symptoms. 71% of the cases resulted in the children going to the ICU, and 43% are still in the hospital.

14 other states and 5 European countries have also reported similar cases.

Cuomo says one of the children who died was an 18-year-old girl. He says he worries about his own 22-year-old daughter.

“This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Cuomo said.

State health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker will host a webinar Thursday for all health care providers in the state, to help them learn about how to recognize the symptoms and what testing and treatments are recommended.

Cuomo said parents of children who may have been exposed to COVID-19 need to take extra precautions. Hospitals have been told to immediately test any child with any of the symptoms detailed in a Health Department advisory.