Authorities in New York announced on Friday, May 29, that the state is on track to enter the first phase of reopening, scheduled to take place on Monday, June 8, amid an easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. In New York City, the first phase will allow non-essential retail stores to offer a cub-side pick-up service, and non-essential construction and manufacturing to resume. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that five upstate regions will be permitted to transition into phase two of the lockdown, which will include the reopening of hair salons and in-store shopping. However, restrictions and social distancing measures will continue to apply. The five regions cleared to enter the second phase of reopening include Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, North Country, and Central New York.
As of Saturday, May 30, health authorities have confirmed 368,284 COVID-19 cases and 29,646 associated deaths in New York. New York remains the most affected state in the US which has 1,748,705 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 102,856 associated deaths as of May 30. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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