ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State’s shutdown order is set to end May 15. The state has been broken up into 10 regions tasked with fulfilling requirements needed to reopen. Only three areas hit that mark, and one is in the Capital Region.
The Mohawk Valley is one of the first regions in New York to begin a phased reopening of the economy. Some of the first businesses to open up will be construction and manufacturing chains.
“My biggest hope is that we can move through the phases without taking a step backwards,” Montgomery Co. Exec. Matthew Ossenfort said.
Ossenfort is part of the Mohawk Valley’s Control Room overseeing developments in reopening the region. The Control Room is a group of regional leaders tasked to monitor infection rates during the phased reopening.
“We are in a situation where we can reopen right now and begin that process, but that does not mean in two weeks it could be a very different situation.”
If something like a spike in infection rates were to happen, the Regional Control Room can slow or shut down the reopening process. They’re also tasked with ensuring businesses and local officials are complying with reopening guidelines.
“There’s still a lot of information that we have to work through as a group and work with the state on, and that’s going to be the task over the course of this week,” Ossenfort said.
The Capital Region is working to meet two more criteria that will give the region the ability to start reopening.
“It’s really important that we all communicate and collaborate,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.
Sheehan’s the only mayor in the Capital Region’s Control Room. She said, in order to get where the Mohawk Valley is, it’s reliant on the public following guidelines to stop the spread.
“That is how we reduce the spread, reduce hospitalizations and reduce deaths,” she said. “And that is the only way we’re going to be on a path to reopening.”