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Increase in coronavirus cases expected as New York reopens, Cuomo says

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday the state expects to see an increase in coronavirus cases as certain regions begin to reopen. "You're going to see an increase in the numbers, but you don't want to see a spike," Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing 

Over 348,000 people in the state have now tested positive for the virus, with 2,419 new positives reported on Friday, according to the state's health department

Five out of ten regions in New York have started to reopen, after they met seven criteria. "Seven criteria, which basically measure the infection rate, hospitalization rate, testing rate, etcetera, and that's how the decision is made," Cuomo said Friday.

New York City has only met four out of the seven criteria, and is the only region to not meet the threshold of available ICU beds. 

The state's shutdown will stay in effect until May 28 for the five other regions that are still closed, although any region can reopen earlier if it hits its "benchmark."

The governor said Saturday he expects more residents to leave their homes as the weather warms up, but urged people to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks when they are outside. 

"How are they going to act when they come out? That is the big question," Cuomo said.

Cuomo announced on Friday that beaches in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware will be open for Memorial Day weekend, allowing no more than 50% capacity. Contact activities - like football or volleyball - will not be allowed, and gathering places such as picnic areas and arcades will not be open, according to Cuomo.

The state has allowed horse and car racing tracks to reopen with no fans present, but said sports like baseball are not under its control. The governor said Saturday he is considering other economic activities that can reopen without crowds.

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