Try listening to the story instead of reading it!

by Dave Warner

In his daily briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo reversed course from the previous day stating that all five regions that were in Phase 1 could proceed to Phase 2.

“Today is day 90 of the Corona Pandemic crisis,” he stated. “The facts today in terms of the Coronavirus are good. Number of hospitalizations are down, net change in total hospitalizations is down, intubations are down, and the new cases are down to 152, which is a dramatic, dramatic, drop for us.”

“The question is on reopening. And as everyone knows, we’ve been looking at the numbers and the metrics in terms of different regions across the state. I feel confident that we can rely on this data and the five regions that have been in Phase 1 can now move to Phase 2 because their data has been reviewed and the experts say to us it’s safe to move forward,” he said.

According to the New York Forward website, the following businesses, and industries can open in Phase 2:

  • Offices
  • Real estate
  • In-store retail
  • Vehicle sales, leases, and rentals
  • Commercial building management
  • Hair salons and barbershops

Businesses must read and affirm the guidelines posted on the Governor’s website and have a safety plan available for customers and staff.

As reported earlier, several public officials had expressed outrage with the lack of transparency on reopening, specifically calling off Phase 2 the day before it was set to begin.

Assemblyman Robert Smullen said, “When we all look at the coronavirus data after initial reopening, the numbers support moving to Phase 2,” said Smullen. “The notion that a group of experts is to be brought in at the last minute is outrageous. We should instead be relying on our county officials who know the local situation and have been part of the Regional Control Rooms that have been organized to review the metrics. The governor’s decision to briefly mention this in a radio interview is not only unfair to every New Yorker but is yet another example of moving the goalposts.”

“We cannot move forward if we continue to live in fear.  It is time to move forward now,” he stated.

Congressmen Anthony Brindisi and John Katko issued the following statement surrounding the confusion relating to Phase 2 Re-Opening:

“Our communities have worked tirelessly to meet the metrics required to begin Phase 2 of reopening, with many local businesses spending time and money in preparation to safely resume services and re-open their doors. With all indications that this new phase would begin today and no guidance from the state denoting changes made, local officials and small business owners are immensely disappointed and confused to learn that a new requirement has been created by the Governor.  We share that confusion and urge the Governor to communicate directly to Upstate New York officials on the next steps forward. Absent clear guidance from New York State, our communities will only continue to guess as to when we may safely and responsibly re-open.

Increased economic uncertainty has plagued our small businesses and local governments during this pandemic. The Governor’s new, late-breaking criteria has only added to that uncertainty.  Governor Cuomo and New York State officials must be more transparent with the reopening process. With livelihoods at stake, we need clear and timely instructions on how to safely reopen our communities.”