Cuomo says no ‘return to normalcy’ until vaccine developed
The governors of the US states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island will coordinate their economic reopening plans after the shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press briefing on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Cuomo along with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney, and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo discussed reopening plans.
“Each state is going to name a public health official for that state, an economic development official for that state. Those officials and the chief of staff of the governor of each state will then form a working group that will start work immediately on designing a reopening plan, taking into consideration public health concerns and issues and the economic reactivation issues and concerns,” Cuomo said.
The governor added that he did not expect the six states to implement the same reopening scenarios because of the different facts and situations with COVID-19 within each state. The future reopening will vary state by state but will be aligned by a common strategy.
“It is not going to be over like we flick a switch,” Cuomo told reporters in his daily update on the COVID-19 situation in New York. He said that there would be points of resolution, where people should feel better, calm and more relaxed, adding that the points would be incremental.
Cuomo also said that a return to normalcy following the pandemic would not happen until a vaccine against the virus is developed in another 12 to 18 months.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that the states have formed a regional advisory council to help with restoring the economy as soon as the COVID-19 health emergency is passed.
On 20 March, New York state, along with the other states, implemented the so-called PAUSE, which ordered 100 percent of the non-essential workforce to stay home, prohibited non-essential gatherings, closed restaurants, bars, and gyms, enforced strict social distancing of at least six feet and introduced fines for those not complying with these policies. On 22 March, a statewide stay-at-home order went into effect at 8 p.m. in New York.
Meanwhile, the three West Coast US states of California, Oregon and Washington have negotiated a common pact to coordinate the reopening of their economies and maintain cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19), their governors said in a joint statement on Monday.
“We are announcing that California, Oregon, and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business,” Governors Gavin Newsom of California, Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington announced.
The three states will act in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly again in their communities, the statement said. According to the statement, the three states contain 17 percent, or one-sixth, of the total US population.