SOUTHERN TIER – After a tumultuous 24 hours of confusion and frustration, the Southern Tier region has finally entered Phase 2 of its economic reopening.
Calling it the most difficult ordeal of his term in office, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says finally getting the green light this afternoon is great news for local businesses.
Industries in the second phase include professional services, finance and insurance, administrative support, real estate and in-store retail.
Phase 2 also includes barbershops and hair salons but not nail salons.
Last evening, following a week of zero guidance from the Governor on how and when regions would enter Phase 2, Cuomo left it up to his representatives to deliver the bad news that the move was delayed indefinitely to local leaders on their regional control room calls.
“When I heard the news that we weren’t immediately going to go into Phase 2, I said Broome County businesses cannot wait another day. I think that message was heard, and as a result, Phase 2 has opened up at 1 PM today,” says Garnar.
The Governor had given vague excuses about the need to have unspecified international experts review the data despite the fact that the Southern Tier had consistently been well within the metrics outlined for the next phase.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo says that during this challenging time, proper messaging is important.
“If we need another couple of days to look at the data, that’s fine. Just let us know, keep everybody in the loop. So, if there is a lesson to be learned, it’s that we are very interested in cooperating, we are prepared, we want to be safe, we are ready to open. Just keep us in the loop, keep us informed so that we can get everybody on the right track,” says Lupardo.
Last night and this morning, the state began posting guidance on what safety protocols Phase 2 businesses should adopt in 7 different categories.
Businesses must also submit an affirmation that they have developed a safety plan that is available to health department officials on request.
All of that info is at Forward.NY.gov.