Coronavirus News: Testing, Tri-State cooperation will be keys to restarting life

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut cooperating on schools, the economy, and healthcare issues will be factors for when the time comes to restart life, Governor Cuomo said on Tuesday.

"We have to start planning restarting life. We are not there yet, but this is not a light switch we can just flick one day and everything goes back to normal. We will have to restart the economy, we will have to restart a lot of systems that we shut down abruptly and we need to start to plan for that," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his Tuesday briefing.

Cuomo said he spoke to New Jersey Gov. Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Lamont about coming up with a regional metropolitan tri-state approach to getting things up and running again over time.

Governor Murphy agreed.

"We discussed in a general sense regional approach to the things like testing, tracking, and the reopening slowly and responsibly - whenever that moment comes - of businesses and schools. And potentially a real approach for mobilizing resources when coronavirus comes back, as many predict it will. Or for next pandemic to come," Murphy said.

Cuomo believes the key to restarting after the coronavirus pandemic will come down to testing.

"You will have to know who had the virus, who resolved the virus, who never had it, and that is going to be testing and that is an entirely new field that we are just developing now," he said.

The New York Department of Health approved an antibody testing regiment that could be brought to scale with the FDA approval. This tests the blood to determine whether or not you have the antibodies, which means you have had the virus and resolved the virus, Cuomo explained.

"That is why you would have the antibodies for the virus. That would mean you are no longer contagious, and you cannot catch the virus because you have the antibodies in your system which means you can get to work, go back to school, do whatever you want. But, you have to have that testing and you have to have that testing on a scale," he said.

Cuomo said rapid testing to determine whether or not a person has the virus must also be brought to scale across the region, which would require the states to invest and support private companies that can do it.

The other key to restarting life will be federal assistance to get the economy going again.

"Every state budget has been decimated by the situation. We shut down the economy. People aren't working. They are not paying income taxes. Businesses are not operating so our budget just collapsed. Our revenues collapsed," Cuomo said.

Cuomo planned to send a letter to the Congressional delegation asking for the federal government to approve another stimulus for the states.

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