Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday sank Staten Island’s bid to begin its coronavirus reopening ahead of the other four boroughs.
“I understand the Staten Island mentality. I love Staten Island and I have a lot of friends there,” said Cuomo. “But it’s not a place unto itself for this purpose.”
Arguing that the borough has already met the state’s seven metrics for reopening — measuring hospital admissions, deaths, available beds, testing and tracing — a group of pols led by State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-SI) last week asked Cuomo to allow the island to reopen on its own.
But Staten Island life is inextricably tied to the rest of New York City — which, as a whole, is yet to clear all seven hurdles — Cuomo said during a Memorial Day press briefing at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
“If you live on Staten Island, you very well may be working in Manhattan, you’re traveling through the New York City area,” said Cuomo. “I get that sometimes every borough would like to secede and be its own place.
“But Staten Island, just practically, is still part of New York City.”
Seven of the state’s 10 economic regions have already entered phase one of the state’s four-phase reopening plan, which permits low-risk businesses including construction, manufacturing, landscaping and curbside pick-up retail.
Another two regions are expected to qualify for phase one this week: the Mid-Hudson on Tuesday, and Long Island on Wednesday.
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That leaves the Big Apple as the only sector on the outside looking in, though Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that the city is on pace to be cleared as early as June 1.