Orleans, Finger Lakes await word from governor on Phase 3

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 June 2020 at 11:17 am

Indoor-seating at restaurants, tattoos, nail salons and spas could get approval to reopen on Friday

Friday could be the start of Phase 3 of reopening the state’s economy. Orleans County is part of the Finger Lakes Region and the health numbers for Covid-19 all meet the state thresholds to enter the next phase, said Paul Pettit, public health director in Orleans and Genesee counties.

“The numbers are trending very positively,” Pettit said this morning. “From my perspective I don’t see any reason why Finger Lakes won’t be moving into phase 3 tomorrow.”

He spoke to businesses this morning in Genesee County through a webinar. He expects Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give the OK for Phase 3 to start on Friday.

But when Phase 2 was approved, that announcement didn’t come until 1 in the afternoon on a Friday, May 29. And the state didn’t have many of the guidelines available on its New York Forward website. This time, the guidelines are on the website, a few days ahead of the anticipated reopening. (Click here to see Phase 3 guidelines.)

Phase 3 would allow restaurants to serve patrons inside buildings, up to 50 percent of a restaurant’s capacity, with tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart, employees wearing masks and taking other safety precautions against Covid-19. Phase 3 would also allow for tattoos, nail salons, spas and some other personal care businesses.

Pettit urged businesses to check the New York Forward website that offers detailed guidelines on safety precautions businesses must follow to open and serve the public.

He thanked the community for adhering to social distancing, wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and taking other safety precautions to slow the spread of Covid-19. That has the region in a good position to move to Phase 3.

“We are moving in the right direction,” Pettit said. “Thank you for all of your hard work and sacrifice.”

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