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Western New York approved to begin Phase One of reopening today

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Posted at 11:42 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 01:17:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Western New York region, which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties, has received approval from New York State to begin reopening on May 19, 2020.

The region has met all seven criteria listed in the New York Forward guidance for regions to reopen. Its neighboring regions, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier, had met the criteria ahead of the earliest possible reopening date under the New York on PAUSE order, May 15.

The seven criteria include

  • 14-day decline in hospitalizations or fewer than 15 new hospitalizations per day over a three-day average
  • 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths per day over a three-day average
  • New hospitalizations under two per 100,000 residents on a three-day rolling average
  • Share of total hospital beds available above 30%
  • Share of ICU beds available above 30%
  • 30 per 1,000 residents tested monthly (seven-day average of new tests per day)
  • 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents or based on infection rate

For regions who have not yet hit those seven metrics, New York on PAUSE stays in effect through May 28. The state of emergency stays in effect through June 13.

Under Phase One, businesses in the following industries are able to reopen upon demonstrating a plan to protect employees and customers

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail - Curbside Pickup
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting

A more detailed list of the types of businesses within each industry is available here.

The next step for Western New York is to enter Phase Two of reopening, which includes retail, professional services, administrative support and real estate/rentals and leasing.