New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has given the green light for non-essential businesses in the North Country to begin of re-opening.
Cuomo said the region has met the seven criteria necessary to protect public health, including include declines in deaths and hospitalizations and having adequate testing capacity. That will allow construction, retail, manufacturing, forestry, fishing and agriculture business to start reopening Friday.
Officials say the reopening of all businesses will occur in four phases, and as long as there is not a spike in new cases. Officials say it may take time before other industries — retail outlets, restaurants and bars, and recreation and entertainment — are ready.
“These phases are going to be weeks apart, so we have the ability to get a good understanding of whats going on in terms of spread of disease, as the reopening happens,” says, Erin Streiff, Director of Healthcare Services, at the Clinton County Health Department.
State officials have established guidelines and precautions for each sector as they get up and running. Gary Douglas, president and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, said it won;t be as simple as just opening the doors.
“You gotta have a plan in place, and you gotta comply with the guidelines,” he said. “And so all businesses should start now, in preparing those plans to be ready for when the phase eventually comes, that they’re a part of.”
Cuomo also announced that on Wednesday, health care providers in Clinton County and 12 other regions can resume performing elective surgeries.