After a dramatic spike in infections, cases, and deaths around the start of the new year, New York state has seen its COVID-19 statistics slowly decline into the spring.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been steadily easing restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, spectator events and travel, arguing that he is reopening the state’s economy while sticking to sound public health precautions. 

“In my opinion, some states are going too far, too fast,” Cuomo said in March. “And that is a danger because COVID is still a risk. And you relax those restrictions too far, you will see the beast rise up again.”

Yet in many upstate counties, COVID statistics have stagnated in recent weeks instead of continuing to decrease, with little movement lately in the number

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