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When will New York State completely open back up?

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:37:15-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s day "who knows" of quarantine, and everyone's itching to get out. The big question - when could that happen? Let’s break down that potential timeline for you.

Governor Cuomo says parts of New York State may start reopening on May 15. But, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says Western News Yorkers will likely need to wait a bit longer.

“I’ve always felt that if the governor was going to open anything first on May 15 it was going to be areas like the North Country and the Adirondacks, maybe parts of the Southern Tier,” Poloncarz said during a press conference Monday. But not Erie County.

According to Polonacarz the most optimistic opening date for our region is May 31. He's focusing on this date because seven requirements must be met in order to reopen, and right now we only fulfill 3 out of 7 of them.

But, let’s say Erie County does meet all seven requirements by May 31. How will re-opening work? According to Governor Cuomo, regions will open in four phases.

Phase One: Construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain and some retails can do curbside pickup.

Phase Two: Professional services (lawyers, doctors), more retail stores, real estate, finances, admistrative support

Phase Three: Restaurants/food service and hotels/accommodations

Phase Four: Schools, art and entertainment, recreation

Now In order to go from phase one to phase two, the region must take two weeks to monitor for changes. If infections stay low, then it can proceed to the next phase.

So, if Western New York met all seven state requirements and stayed on track, here’s a potential timeline we could be looking at:

  • May 31: Low-risk non-essential businesses open by May 31st.
  • June 14: Professional services return
  • June 28: Restaurants and hotels but possibly with limited capacity.
  • July 12: Academic and recreation buildings

"That’s why everyone needs to be our brother and sisters keeper," Poloncarz said. "I need you to wear your mask like I wear my mask and I need you not to spread the coronavirus just like you don’t want me to spread the coronavirus. That’s how we’re gonna open up.”