Cuomo: Phase Two of reopening won’t start Friday

Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a news conference in the Red Room at the state Capitol in Albany, January 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In a Thursday afternoon interview with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Phase Two of reopening cannot begin until international experts analyze the data and give the ‘OK’ to move forward.

“We have metrics. We have numbers. They’re are the smartest data-based reopening plan in the country, I believe. We have international experts who go through it and we’ll follow the data. The reopening in the first five regions ends tomorrow,” Cuomo said. “When the reopening of phase one ends, we’ll give the experts all the data— and if they say we should move forward, we’ll move forward.”

Regional and county leaders in Upstate New York are uncertain about Cuomo’s revised plan for reopening, which calls for a review of pandemic performance before certain regions can reopen.

He said the experts are looking how many people are getting sick, the infection rate, transmission rate, hospitalization rate, the contact tracing rate, testing rate, among other data points.

The Mohawk Valley and North Country originally planned to reopen Friday but are postponing phase two of reopening until they get the official go ahead from the New York State Government.

Many local leaders outraged at these new revisions on reopening. Among those expressing frustrations is Congresswoman Elise Stefanik who said “Small businesses are barely hanging on.”

Assemblyman Chris Tague also releasing a statement saying, “I am shocked by the governor’s decision to move the goalposts in the middle of the game by delaying the much-needed second phase of regional reopening by subjecting the process to the approval of a panel of experts who don’t even live in New York.”

He added, “We need more local input into the reopening process and our residents need more clarity about how to plan for reopening, not less, and putting the fates of our communities into the hands of a faceless panel of “experts” does nothing to ease the anxieties of those worried about feeding their families and losing the careers and businesses they’ve worked for years and generations to build.”

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