Long Island is back in business.
More than two months after non-essential businesses were shut down due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Long Island is opening back up as it enters Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan.
Non-essential manufacturing, construction and retail businesses are permitted to begin operations as of Wednesday, May 27, though social distancing protocols and density-reduction precautions are required. Retailers will also be allowed to utilize curbside pickup for customers.
Long Island has seen a steady decline in hospitalization, infection, and fatality rates in recent weeks, and now have trained enough contact tracers to meet the final metric required by the state before reopening.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone called reopening “a real milestone for us. We’ve been through a lot. It’s been an incredibly trying time and devastating in so many ways.”
There is no set date for the beginning of Phase 2 of the reopening plan in New York, which would allow these businesses to reopen: professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support; real estate, and rental leasing.
Phase 3 would include restaurants and food services, though the state might put limits on occupancy at eateries and impose other safety measures to ensure the safety of customers and employees.
Suffolk County saw 109 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 39,199 since the pandemic struck the region in mid-March. In Nassau, there were 67 new cases, as the total climbed to 39,974 COVID-19 cases.
According to the state Department of Health, 2,108 Nassau residents have died from the virus, while there have been 1,851 COVID-19 fatalities.
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