(WIVB) – Only a few days after Western New York dropped to meeting only four of the state’s seven metrics to reopen, it is now meeting six out of the seven.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke about the positive news during a press call on Sunday, adding that the WNY region only needs to meet the number of contact tracers.
The state says Western New York now needs to have at least 521 people work as contact tracers before the region can move forward with reopening.
Hochul says both the CDC and Johns Hopkins university recommend that number based on Western New York’s population and what they feel is safest.
Hochul added that the leaders of all five counties that make up the state’s WNY region are working together to get the area’s numbers of contact tracers up, in some cases training county employees to do it.
“We’ll hit those numbers, I believe, in a very short time,” Hochul noted.
When Western New York does meet all seven of seven metrics, reopening will not begin immediately, Hochul added.
“Assuming these numbers hold.. [it won’t be] an automatic change- we will take a little bit of time to make sure they hold,” Hochul stated.
The state will be watching all of the regions that began Phase One of reopening on Friday.
“We will be monitoring the situation to see what happens in that region,” Hochul added. “This is the first time we’ve had to bring society back out of its slumber.”
Hochul thanked residents of Western New York for wearing masks and practicing social distancing, and urged them not to become complacent.
“We want to get there, all of us, but it is in all of our hands,” Hochul said. “Keep doing what you’re doing.”
Watch Hochul’s entire Sunday press briefing here: