Parts of New York’s economy in some areas of the can begin reopening in phases, but not the Capital Region, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on May 11.
At press time, some of the phasing-in could have started as of Friday, May 15.
Members of the group in the Capital Region leading the reopening effort include Robert Henke, Washington County board of supervisors vice chairman, and Ryan Moore, Warren County administrator.
Other members are Ruth Mahoney, Regional Economic Development Council co-chair and Albany market president for KeyBank; Mike Blue, Capital District Area Labor Federation president; Dan McCoy, Albany County executive; Steve McLaughlin, Rensselaer County executive; Rory Fluman, Schenectady County manager; Spencer Hellwig, Saratoga County administrator; Shaun Groden, Greene County administrator; Matt Murell, Columbia County board of supervisors chair, and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
Much of the state’s economy has been paused since the end of March to stop the spread of the coronavirus
“We have abated the worst by what we’ve done and now we can intelligently turn toward reopening,” Cuomo said. “The timing will be different for each region, depending on the curve of the coronavirus pandemic. And it will be different for each industry depending on how essential the business is and how easy it is to social distance.
As of May 11, the Capital Region has not met all of the criteria to reopen by May 15. The Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Southern tier had met all seven.
Cuomo recommended all regions start on preparations for reopening. To do that, each region must appoint an oversight institution as its “control room” to monitor hospital capacity, rate of infection, PPE burn rate and businesses.
“This reopening phase is locally driven, regionally driven and regionally designed,” Cuomo said. “The businesses that can open are the businesses that are approved by that region and approved with these conditions. Every business that reopens is going to have to meet certain conditions. The state set a certain number of conditions, local governments may add additional conditions to those businesses and how they open.”
The regional control room team is made up of the government officials, academic officials, health care professionals and business leaders who will watch the situation in that region develop.
Cuomo said set the following pahses for reopening the state to business:
Phase 1: Construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; select retail with curbside pickup.
Phase 2: Professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support; real estate, rental leasing.
Phase 3: Restaurants, food services; hotels, accommodations.
Phase 4: Arts, entertainment, recreation, education.