GENESEO – The Livingston County Board of Supervisors has sent of letter to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urging him to immediately advance Livingston County to Phase Three of the state’s four-phase reopening process.
The county said in its June 8 letter that all health metrics are currently being met by Livingston County.
The letter was drafted and sent following the release of guidelines for Phase Three reopening, which is to include restaurants and professional servics such as nail salons.
“There is no excuse not to open up,” Board of Supervisors Chairman David L. LeFeber said. “The two week timeframe is now immaterial. All the trends and health metrics warrant Livingston County opening up more of our shuttered businesses to customers, traffic, business income and sales tax.”
Per Governor Cuomo’s phased-in approach to the gradual lifting of the State’s “NY Pause” Executive Orders, the earliest he intends to open to Phase Three is Friday, though that is not guaranteed.
“It is likely that Phase 3 will be triggered on Friday,” said LeFeber. “That’s to be expected. But, let’s be honest and let’s have public health benchmarks guide the decision-making and nothing else. There is no need to wait. Open now.”
The Board’s letter to Governor Cuomo also demands that Phase 4 guidelines – for arts, entertainment, recreation, and education – be issued this week so that businesses can plan ahead.
“We are proud of our Livingston County business owners for enduring the hardships brought about by these unprecedented times. They have been extremely patient over the last several months, and now, they are eager to get back to work in a safe and sensible manner,” LeFeber said. “Reopening our businesses will help the local economy thrive once again.
“Our businesses are eager and anxious to continue the reopening process and, after this extensive layoff, they remain ready to further promote this recovery effort and fully reopen Livingston County,” LeFeber said.
On Friday, it will have been two weeks since the Finger Lakes Region entered Phase Two. The start of Phase Two was uncertain when Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a group of experts would have to review a region’s local virus data before being allowed to reopen. Last Friday afternoon, the region was given the OK to enter phase two, which allowed office-based jobs to resume and in-store shopping at many retailers.
Non-essential businesses first closed in New York in later March as art of an effort help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reopening process began May 15 when construction firms, manufacturing and other industries were allowed to resume work.