BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Phase one businesses in Western New York are eligible to re-open on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press briefing Monday.
The five-county region is expected to meet all seven criteria toward re-opening by that time. 525 contact tracers are being trained to meet the final metric. The region met two other metrics, related to coronavirus hospitalizations and hospital deaths, over the weekend.
Phase one includes construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and wholesale trade. Additionally, retail stores will be able to provide curbside pickup services.
The Western New York region includes Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties. Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties, defined by the state as being part of the Finger Lakes region, began phase one on Friday.
Businesses planning to re-open are asked to read guidelines the state has published on its “New York Forward” website, and affirm that they have read and understand them.
This plan must be obtained by the county the business is in and be made available to employees, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, following Cuomo’s briefing. He says businesses that fall under Phase Two should begin preparing their plans as soon as possible.
Poloncarz also mentioned that all members of the Erie County Department of Health will take the online contact tracer course by 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Click/tap this link for a list of specific businesses that can reopen in Phase One.
Cuomo says he and the state will work with sports teams on plans to play. This includes the Buffalo Bills, Sabres and Bisons.
“I want to watch the Bills,” Cuomo commented.
That being said, he says the organizations should plan on playing games without fans being there.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a western New York native who has been overseeing the region’s movement toward reopening, joined Cuomo during his briefing. She later released a statement on western New York’s reopening:
“I applaud the Governor’s announcement to begin Phase One reopening in Western New York tomorrow, and thank him for joining us in Buffalo today.Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul
Thanks to the collective efforts Governor Cuomo asked me to oversee for our region, in partnership with State, County, and local officials, we were able to meet all seven metrics necessary to reignite our economy safely.
While this is a positive sign we are trending in the right direction, now is not the time to become complacent.
As the Governor mentioned today, the story of Buffalo is the story of New York, and is the story of America — as a society, we are smart enough to learn and strong enough to get back up. Western New Yorkers are following our guidelines to keep them safe, and it’s working.
As your Lieutenant Governor I look forward to continuing to help our community — and every community across New York — get back up and build back better and safer than ever before.”
Watch Cuomo’s daily briefing below: