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NY Delays Phase Two Reopening, Angering Upstate Officials

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York state officials have called off the Phase Two reopening for five of its upstate economic regions, including the Mohawk Valley, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and central New York. 

Phase One of reopening from the coronavirus shutdown is scheduled to end Friday, but on WAMC Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said international experts would first review each region's data before making a decision.

“When the reopening of Phase One ends, we'll give the experts all the data. It's posted on the web, but let them analyze it," said Cuomo. "And if they say we should move forward, we move forward.”

Phase Two allows more retailers, including hair salons and barbershops — with some limits — to restart. The move has angered upstate officials who had planned on reopening Friday. Democratic Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says the Southern Tier meets the state’s reopening guidelines, and waiting on the governor’s word is “very frustrating.”

"What we've really been hopeful for was that the state was going to make some type of announcement about that well before we officially went into Phase Two," adds Garnar. 

Republican Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente went even further — he's told the county sheriff that they would not stop Phase Two businesses from reopening Friday.

The governor’s office revised its Phase Two guidelines late Thursday, with all office based workers allowed to return to work. Retail stores must not exceed 50 percent capacity.

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