Slide from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's presentation at a press conference May 23.

The Long Island region could be eligible to reopen as soon as Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

Long Island is still meeting just five of the seven benchmarks established by the state to begin reopening.

The benchmarks require a 14-day decline in the number of hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths per day, both on a three-day rolling average. Long Island has had a decline of hospital deaths for 10 days running and still has not gone under the five-death metric.

Cuomo did not mention a letter sent to him yesterday from the supervisors and city managers of Long Island municipalities asking him to revise the hospital deaths metrics to have the maximum number of deaths per day calibrated to a region’s population. The letter was drafted by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. Holding a populous region like Long Island and a low-population region like Mohawk Valley to the same standard of five or fewer hospital deaths per day is fundamentally unfair, Schneiderman said. See prior story.

The benchmarks also require a region to have a minimum number of contact tracers hired and trained, with the number depending on population — 30 tracers per 100,000 population or based on infection rate. Long Island requires more than 800 contact tracers and has not yet met this benchmark either. No information has been provided by local officials about how many tracers have been hired and trained to date.

County Executive Steve Bellone said yesterday he anticipated having additional information to share this weekend about progress hiring and training contact tracers on Long Island.

Cuomo announced that the Mid-Hudson Region — Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties will be eligible to continue reopening Tuesday if the contact tracers the region has hired complete the online training course over the weekend.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.