Cuomo: ‘Western New York is expected to move to phase two tomorrow’

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday he expects Western New York on Tuesday to move into phase two of the reopening from the state’s coronavirus shutdown.

“Western New York is expected to move to phase two tomorrow,” Cuomo said from New York City at his daily coronavirus briefing.

“We expect that to happen,” the governor said. “We have the data that we have been tabulating in phase one in Western New York. All the data looks very good. We will have the global experts look through it today to make sure we are not missing anything.”

Cuomo said there will be an announcement regarding Western New York’s reopening Monday afternoon.

Phase two includes the reopening of hair salons, retail stores and offices.

Retail store guidelines under phase two include: Businesses must operate with a workforce reduced by 50 percent and limit customer traffic to 50 percent of a store’s occupancy.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said last Tuesday that Western New York was on track to move to phase two on June 2.

Erie County and four neighboring counties – Niagara, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua – are considered by the state as a regional group for reopening purposes.

The data which determines the phases of reopening includes hospitalization rates, intensive care usage and death rates due to the coronavirus.

According to the state’s previously announced parameters, it takes at least two weeks to advance to the next phase of reopening. There are a total of four phases: Restaurants and food service reopenings are part of phase three (earliest start date of June 16); reopening of recreation and entertainment venues are part of phase four (earliest start date of June 30).

Western New York would become the sixth region of New York, all upstate, to move to phase two of reopening, Cuomo said.

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