Long Island enters first phase of NY's reopening process

May 27, 2020

Long Island has become the latest region of New York to begin easing restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus as it enters the first phase of the state’s four-step reopening process

NEW YORK (AP) — Long Island became the latest region of New York to begin easing restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus Wednesday as it entered the first phase of the state's four-step reopening process. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said efforts to fight the virus have left the city with a $9 billion budget deficit.

Here are the latest coronavirus developments in New York.

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LONG ISLAND REOPENS

The sprawling suburbs of Nassau and Suffolk counties, where at least 4,000 people have been killed by the virus, were given approval by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday to begin reopening parts of their economy after nonessential businesses were shuttered for two months.

Construction, manufacturing, agriculture and retail with curbside pickup will be permitted in the first phase of reopening. Several popular beaches on Long Island opened last weekend with new rules for reduced capacity and social distancing.

The easing of some restrictions on Long Island leaves New York City as the only part of the state that has yet to begin the reopening process. Under guidelines set by Cuomo, reopening is tied to metrics including hospital capacity and trends in fatality rates.

New infections have slowed throughout the state but have not stopped. More than 1,000 New Yorkers tested positive Monday.

Cuomo planned to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to discuss coronavirus response efforts and to push for infrastructure investments.

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NEW YORK CITY FACES $9 BILLION BUDGET DEFICIT

De Blasio said Wednesday that the city's projected budget deficit has grown from $7.4 billion to $9 billion because of revenue shortfalls and new expenses linked to the coronavirus.

“We do have to come to grips with the fact that on top of the health care crisis, on top of the economic crisis, we are now in a fiscal crisis here in this city,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing.

The mayor renewed his call for the U.S. Senate to help struggling cities and states by passing the House's coronavirus aid package and said that without federal assistance the city would need borrowing authority from New York state in order to avoid deep cuts to services.

Cuomo dismissed the idea of the city borrowing money to cover his costs when he was asked about it Tuesday. “Borrowing for operating expenses is fiscally questionable,” the governor said. “Fiscal responsibility is very important here.”

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