Reopening days are here. The state is slowly, painfully dragging businesses out of their long slumber. We are looking through the tunnel and see light. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Three regions of New York will start reopening, beginning with selected low-risk businesses, at the end of the week. Drive-in movie theaters statewide are included in this opening (or reopening) round.
The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions meet the state’s seven criteria for COVID-19 hospitalization, infection and death rates, available hospital beds, testing and tracing capacity, and can gradually restart the economy after the governor’s NY On Pause order, which closed schools and nonessential businesses and enforced social-distancing measures, expires Friday.
The regions will start with Phase I of the state’s four-phase reopening plan the governor outlined May 4. Businesses to open first include construction, manufacturing, curbside pick-up retail, forestry and fishing. The Capital District region, including the Twin Counties, doesn’t quite meet the guidelines yet, but we’re almost there, and something is better than nothing.
The state will open landscaping and gardening, outdoor low-risk recreational activities, such as tennis, and drive-in movie theaters Friday after the Pause order expires.
“Talk about going back to the future,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday at his daily press briefing.
The fly in the ointment is the fear that reopening too soon will ignite another COVID-19 outbreak and set back all the state has achieved so far. Having said that, we wish the first businesses to open in New York all the luck in the world. The state — and possibly the nation — is holding its collective breath.