Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read said he is aiming to get people back to work as soon as the Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifts his pause order, but it all depends on testing.
Read says he believes the infection rate in Clinton County because of social distancing, which has kep the virus from spreading deeper into the region.
“We have to be very vigilant and we do that by testing to make sure infections don’t occur and if they do occur that you test everybody all around that person,” Read said. “We haven’t been able to do that up till now.”
Read said testing is ramping up in Plattsburgh. WellNow Urgent Care on Route 3 is offering antibody and diagnostic testing. Antibody testing is crucial for first responders, Read said, because it will let them know if they have been infected by the virus.
“I see value in if you have symptoms going in and getting the diagnostic test and being quarantined and everyone you have been in contact with goes and gets that test too,” he said. “But also there is a lot of value in the antibody test to give us the reassurance that we don’t have and haven’t had pockets of infection.”
Jeffrey Hubbard from Hobie’s Sports Den says reopening would be nice, but he is still worried.
“I think in the North Country it would be worth it to open up, but we do rely on tourism so it’s kind of like we are opening up from other communities to come in,” Hubbard said.
Nicolette Terry from A Beautiful Mess said the Plattsburgh gift shop has purchased a plexiglass screen to protect employees and customers in case businesses do reopen.
“I have seen a lot of people online just doing appointments or only allowing two people at a time in a store. Obviously practicing social distancing within the store,” she said.
For now, Terry has been setting up window displays and putting together bundle packages with price tags so customers can walk by the shop and contact her if they see anything they like. She also does free local deliveries.
“We are excited,” she said. “We are hoping for the best and staying positive.”