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As of midnight Thursday night, fully half of New York State’s ten designated “regions” will be qualified to begin Phase One of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s metric-driven reopening plan. That is when the Central New York area, consisting of Cortland, Cayuga, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties joins four other regions that have met all seven of Cuomo’s statistical criteria.

Next closest are the Capital Region around Albany and the Mid-Hudson Region, including Westchester, each of which have met five of the seven. Trailing are the heavily populated and still trending upwards in certain categories are Western New York, around Buffalo, New York City and Long Island.

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“Phase One reopening does not mean the problem has gone away” the governor cautioned. “It means we have control of the problem because of what we did.”

As he has done repeatedly during the phased reopening process, Cuomo warned that if any of the statistical indicators reversed, monitors from the state’s Health Department would step in and, as Cuomo says, “shut off the dial.”

The Mid-Hudson Region could have less than a week before getting the green light, depending on how the Health Department evaluates a one-day spike in deaths that occurred a week earlier but has since gone back on its downward trending path. Said County Executive George Latimer: “I’m hopeful that within the week, we’ll hit the number.”

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