Finger Lakes Region, which includes Orleans, meets criteria for phase 1 of reopening on May 15

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2020 at 12:05 pm

This slide from the governor’s news conference today details there seven metrics that need to be met for phase 1 of a reopening.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the Finger Lakes region, which includes Orleans and eight other counties, meets the state standards for a partial reopening on May 15.

The Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley also meet the seven criteria for hospitalization and infection levels from Covid-19, testing and contact tracing, as well as availability of hospital beds.

(Central NY and the North Country are one metric away from reopening and could meet the standard by Friday. Western New York meets five out of the seven right now.)

The state has been on “pause” since March 22 with non-essential businesses closed.

The regions can begin to reopen in phase 1, which includes construction, manufacturing, retail (curbside pickup only), agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The governor also announced certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities can resume state-wide on May 15, including landscaping and gardening, outdoor low-risk recreational activities such as tennis, and drive-in movie theaters.

Each region will have a “control room” with representatives from each county. That group will act as a circuit breaker and monitor the data with Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations. If there is a spike, the regions will have to scale back the reopening, Cuomo said.

Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature, represents Orleans in the control room for the Finger Lakes.

“This is the next big step in this historic journey,” Cuomo said.

If the rate of infections and hospitalizations can stay in check in the coming weeks, the additional next phases to roll out include:

Phase 2: Professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support and real estate/rental leasing.

Phase 3: Restaurants/food services; hotels/accommodations.

Phase 4: Arts/entertainment/recreation; education.

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