The “new normal” in the Hudson Valley is underway as the region enters Phase 1 of its reopening plan as it recovers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The mid-Hudson region has met the required metrics set forth by the state to begin reopening after nine weeks of shutting down due to the COVID-19 virus.
The region includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties.
Phase 1 of the reopening plan proposed by state officials allows nonessential manufacturing, construction and retail businesses to reopen, but with social-distancing and density-reduction precautions in place. Retail is only allowed curbside or in-store pickups.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced over the holiday weekend that the Hudson Valley region was set to reopen Tuesday, May 26, while Long Island should be able to reopen on Wednesday, May 27.
The Hudson Valley hadn’t had enough tracers to reopen until Tuesday though officials worked over the weekend to train enough people, while the death rate on Long Island hasn’t declined enough according to state metrics.
State officials said, “We ask that these businesses go online to the following state web links to review and complete the required forms pertaining to your business and industry sector,” they said. "We are available to assist and look forward to working with you to safely and responsibly get back to business.”
"Smart has worked. We just have to stay smart," Cuomo said this week. "Even though it's been a long time, and people are anxious, we have to stay smart. You keep watching those numbers.”
Phase 2 would allow these categories of business to reopen: professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support; real estate/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.
“The news from Governor Andrew Cuomo about the Mid-Hudson Region being eligible for Phase 1 re-opening on Tuesday is very encouraging,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “We have been preparing for this moment for several weeks now, and I am confident that if we all work together we can and will re-open safely.”
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro added: “We now begin a new chapter. The work we all do going forward will determine our course forward. Businesses will be slowly reopening with strict health and safety plans in place that must be followed.
“Public health teams will be watching all of the data closely to protect our community health. Individuals must maintain their vigilance in protecting themselves and their families,” he continued. “Wear face coverings when going out, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. Continuing to make smart choices will protect our community.”
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