Governor allows construction, manufacturing to restart
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday (May 23) added the Mid-Hudson, which includes Dutchess and Putnam counties, to the list of regions that can begin Phase 1 of the four-phase to reopen the economy following the COVID-19 shutdown, as of Tuesday (May 26), as long as the number of deaths continue to decrease and enough contact tracers are trained and in place.
He also said that Long Island could begin Phase 1 on May 27 under the same conditions. That would leave only New York City not having met all seven criteria necessary to begin reopening non-essential businesses.
In a statement, Cuomo said that construction companies in the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions can be begin moving materials and equipment to job sites and setting up safety precautions in anticipation of the Phase 1 reopening. All essential businesses and those that plan to reopen during Phase 1 must have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place.
Seven other regions in the state already have begun Phase 1, which allows construction, manufacturing, retail (limited to curbside or in-store pick up or drop off), agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and wholesale trade businesses to reopen with social-distancing restrictions.
“This is good news for Dutchess County, a cautious beginning to restarting our local economy,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. “All of the metrics prove we have moved in the right direction.”
He added on May 23: “Businesses will be slowly reopening with strict health and safety plans in place that must be followed. Public health teams will be watching all of the data closely to protect our community health. Individuals must maintain their vigilance in protecting themselves and their families – wear face coverings when going out, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. Continuing to make smart choices will protect our community.
“We are exceptionally grateful to all those who have signed up to volunteer as contact tracers – it is critical the training is completed this weekend to ensure our reopening proceeds on Tuesday.”
In a statement on May 24, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said: “The counties in this region have worked hard to get to this stage. We stayed home, stayed safe and flattened the curve, and now we are eager to get back to business. The businesses that will reopen will make safety their first priority. We want people working, and we also want to keep our communities safe.”
It is anticipated there will be about two weeks between each phase as long as the metrics are stable or improve. Phase 1 businesses are considered essential to the economy and are the lowest risk businesses, according to the state. Phase 2 will include professional services, retail, administrative support and real estate/rental leasing. Phase 3 will cover restaurants and food services. Phase 4 will include arts, entertainment, recreation and education.