People wear protective face masks as they sit in front of a Brooklyn restaurant as New York City enters Phase 3 reopening after restrictions were imposed on the coronavirus pandemic on July 16, 2020.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
New York City was released for the next phase of reopening on Monday, but restaurants, bars, museums, and shopping centers remain closed, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.
"I'm so proud of what the New Yorkers have been doing, but we still need to be on the alert," Cuomo said in a tweet.
Reopening the fourth phase will allow for more outdoor activities like zoos, movies, and outdoor gardens, but indoor activities like dining in restaurants and shopping in malls will remain closed, Cuomo said. The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, announced earlier on the day the city was to enter the fourth phase.
Cuomo warned that a second wave of virus is still at risk and urged residents to be vigilant. Cuomo said earlier this week that he was tightening the rules as the state was preparing for a second wave of coronavirus infections from growing western and southern outbreaks.
"There will be a second wave that I would bet on," he told reporters during a Friday afternoon press conference. "You can't spread this across the country and think you're immune."
"There is no doubt that this is a time of high stress and difficulty. Many people suffer on many levels," he added.
The outbreak of the corona virus has worsened further in the United States. The nation reported a record of 77,255 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, which, according to Johns Hopkins University, broke the previous record increase in nearly 10,000 cases in one day. The virus has now infected more than 3.5 million Americans and, according to Hopkins, killed at least 138,300 people.
The state of New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, now has one of the lowest new cases in the country. The state of New York reported 776 new cases on Thursday, according to the state of around 10,000 new cases a day in April.
Cuomo criticized the Trump administration's response and described the pandemic in the US on Thursday as "a virus of American division and federal incompetence".
"It will be a double shotgun of incompetence," he said. "You know which virus is worse than Covid? The virus of the American division and the incompetence of the federal government. This is the virus that devastates this country."
"You failed. You failed. And the virus came to New York and the Americans died because of a government failure," added Cuomo. "They still fail and still don't follow science."
Cuomo said Friday's non-opening of the economy had "not helped" anyone.
"Not opening the economy properly, opening it again and closing it again. It didn't help anyone. It cost lives," and jobs, said Cuomo.