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Western New York region approved to begin Phase Two of reopening

New York total hospitalizations under 1,000 for the first time since March
Posted at 11:39 AM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 11:28:23-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Western New York region, which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties, has been approved to begin Phase Two of reopening.

The New York Forward website says the following regions have also been approved to enter Phase Two: Central NY, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier.

"We've been itching to get this place back open. We love doing what we do, we just want to get that door back open and see our customers again," said Cam Murray, owner of Queen City Vintage on Hertel Ave.

The Western New York region entered Phase One of the NY Forward program on May 19. The program plans for each region to enter each of the four phases of reopening in a biweekly progression.

Phase Two includes:

  • Offices
  • Real Estate
  • Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
  • Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning
  • Commercial Building Management
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops

Notably for those who have forgone a haircut during their time at home, salons and barber shops reopen in Phase Two. While many are excited to open, others are hesitant.

"We're ready to go, it's just that I don't want to start and get the salon going and get customers going and the numbers spike and we have to shut down again," said Christina Campanella-Falzone, Owner of Ciao Bella Hair Studio in Kenmore.

Last week, the state released detailed guidelines for businesses reopening in Phase Two. Guidelines include:

  • Physical Distancing
  • Protective Equipment
  • COVID-19 Testing for workers
  • Thorough cleaning

"It's a little much. I can't see myself standing there for that long and being able to give an accurate service," said Campanella-Falzone.

She's concerned about sick customers coming in and not letting her know beforehand. That's why she won't be opening up this week, instead she's waiting for more clarity from the state.

"To the clients, hang on just a little bit longer, try not to get into that box dye, I want to make sure it's beyond safe," said Campanella-Falzone.

As businesses continue to reopen, the following businesses remain closed due to executive orders issued by the governor:

  • Malls; specifically, any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease; however, any stores located within shopping malls, which have their own external entrances open to the public, separate from the general mall entrance (e.g. strip malls), may open;
  • Dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar service, excluding take-out or delivery for off-premise consumption;
  • Large gathering/event venues, including but not limited to establishments that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience;
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes, except for remote or streaming services;
  • Video lottery and casino gaming facilities;
  • Movie theaters, except drive-ins; and
  • Places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions