Cuomo adds review to reopening, lawmakers and residents voice frustration with delay of ‘Phase 2’

The second phase of reopening the New York economy will not start on Friday, as many expected around the Finger Lakes, Central New York, and Southern Tier.

All three region’s had the set amount of time pass between ‘Phase 1’ and ‘Phase 2’, but Governor Andrew Cuomo threw cold water on reopening when he said a team of international experts would need to review data, before any of those regions could move forward.

It’s not clear how long the review will take, but most working assumptions are that it will be 1-3 days. Meaning, the second phase of reopening could start between Saturday and Monday.

Regional leaders throughout the week noted that while there was an uptick in cases, they still meet the requirements to open. Some officials were so upset by the Governor’s announcement the region’s wouldn’t be allowed to enter the second phase on Friday that they said opening would happen anyway.

He made the announcement on a radio show that there would be a delay before the second phase.

Lawmakers around the region voiced frustration with the lack of transparency from the Governor’s office.

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay added his own frustration over the evolving rules. “At a time when suffering upstate regions need clarity and confidence, they’ve gotten only more confusion. The governor’s acknowledgement that upstate regions may not begin tomorrow’s Phase II reopening compounds the problems for businesses, employees and industries struggling to survive,” he began. “Businesses across New York have been forced into near ruin, yet were poised to finally reopen their doors tomorrow. Today, they learned that ‘international experts’ will determine when they will be allowed to resume operations – rather than local professionals who know their communities.”

“Regional representatives have worked hard to set the stage for strategic, safe economic recoveries. Areas preparing to reopen their economies needed planning, guidance and collaboration. Instead, they’ve received shifting criteria and additional delays. The confusion needs to end. New Yorkers are ready to get back to work, and it’s time to get New York back on its feet,” he continued.

“The governor said our economic reopening process would be based on individual regions hitting specific, targeted metrics,” Assemblyman Brian Kolb began. “At the last minute, he’s ignoring the improving numbers upstate and threatening to delay Phase II of the reopening process for no justifiable public health reason. The governor should’ve been working with our local governments and private sector employers for weeks so they could hit the ground running. An arbitrary delay in a process that was already moving too slowly is exactly the opposite of what he should be doing. This is senseless. We need to get back to work.”

The following businesses are allowed to reopen in ‘Phase 2’:

– Hair salons and barbershops;
– Professional services;
– Support services;
– Real estate and rental leasing;
– Other office spaces; and
– Retail with new restrictions in place.

Governor Cuomo is expected to address ‘Phase 2’ reopening at his press conference on Friday.


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