SILVER LAKE — “Trolls World Tour” may never have seemed like more of a relief.
The Silver Lake Twin Drive-In will be opening on Friday night with two double features, said owner Rick Stefanon on Monday. But it will be a bit different from your typical season.
People will be able to enjoy the movie from the safety of their own vehicles, he said. They’ll be parked further apart than normal so Screen 1 will have the capacity for about 200 cars.
Employees at the snack bar will be protected by Plexiglass, with a limited number of people allowed inside at a time, and separate entrances and exists. The restrooms will also be closely monitored for the number of people entering and leaving, and the cleaning will be constant.
Hand sanitizer will be in all the soap dispensers.
But nonetheless, the “Trolls” movie will be followed by “Jumanji: The Next Level” while Screen 2 shows “Invisible Man” and “Bad Boys for Life.”
Stefanon is good-natured and optimistic.
“I think most people realize that this is standard procedure for now, for the time being,” he said. “We feel confident that the general public realizes the rules and regulations, and with everyone’s cooperation, we expect everything to run smoothly.”
The Finger Lakes region will be ready to reopen starting Friday.
The region — which includes Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties — has met all seven of the state’s metrics. Phase I will start with businesses considered essential and low-risk, which include construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail businesses using curbside pickup; and forestry, fishing and agriculture.
New York will also be reopening certain low-risk businesses and recreational facilities statewide on Friday including: landscaping and gardening, outdoor low-risk recreational activities like tennis, and drive-in movie theaters.
Like the Silver Lake Twin Drive-In, businesses will need to take precautions.
If necessary, they’ll be required to adjust workplace hours and shifts, while maintaining social distance, restricting non-essential travel, and using masks if employees have frequent contact with others. Strict cleaning and sanitation standards will also be required, along with continued health screening for employees entering the workplace. Continuous tracing, tracking and reporting is also part of the equation.
“It’s an exciting new phase,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his daily update, conducted Monday in Irondequoit, Monroe County. “We’re all anxious to get back to work we want to do it smartly, we want to do it anxiously, but we want to do it.”
Cuomo said the local governments and local officials need to have testing and tracking in place as well as monitoring hospitalization and infection rates. They’ll also need to ensure business compliance and communicate with other local governments.
“There is also something we call a regional control room, which is made up of the top officials — government officials, academic officials, healthcare professionals — that are watching the situation in that region develop,” he said. “You are going to increase activity. Depending on how intelligently you increase activity will be the possible effect on the spread of the virus. You need to know what the impact is, you need to know it in real time, and you need to be in a position to respond.”
If there is an increase in infection, the region needs to be able to pull the plug or slow down the increases in activity.
Several area officials are part of the regional control room. They include Chairwoman Lynne Johnson of the Orleans County Legislature, Chairwoman Rochelle Stein of the Genesee County Legislature, Chairman Jerry Davis of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, and Livingston County Chairman David LeFeber.
Johnson said the businesses in the region are ready, but it is far more complicated to reopen than it is to shut down.
“We must be smart, but the businesses are definitely ready,” she said. “The region is definitely ready. We have to monitor on four core factors.”
Johnson said the region needs to continue reducing the spread of COVID-19 and has to focus on reopening, while being very careful that the strides taken aren’t erased.
“We obviously have that hot spot here in Orleans County at The Village of Orleans we’re being very careful of,” she said. “It’s a very terrible situation. So we just have to encourage everyone to wear their masks and don’t infect more people. I think people are very respectful of that. So the trend is promising, and hopefully it holds.”
Stein said county leaders are appointed by Cuomo to bring data and understanding of the facts to the regional control room.
“My role is to convey questions seeking clarity from all levels of government and business as I receive them,” she said. “Providing clear and concise information is vital to our success in reopening our economy.”
“Genesee County has a tremendous group working collaboratively with the Economic Development Center, Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders in seeing our industries have support to reopen as soon as practicable,” Stein said. “I do not have a comprehensive list of businesses as determined by Empire State Development, I hope to have that soon.”
Agriculture and farms producing food are classified essential, to that end, more are fully operational, Stein said. “Spring planting has begun and workforce has been in place,” she said. “Additional agriculture industries are ready to reopen and have mitigation plans in place to reduce the spread of infection, to the best of my knowledge.”
County Manager Jay Gsell said farms are eager to reopen with appropriate planning and precautions.
“They will gradually assemble workforce and schedules depending on what they are as part of our No. 1 industry — agriculture,” he said.
Stein said control room appointees have been communicating by phone and zoom calls, starting last week through the weekend and again Monday.
“We are sharing our service methods and manners to our communities, talking of barriers to knowledge, addressing gaps in shared knowledge and informing on the work of our Public Health, Emergency Management and Public Safety departments,” she said.
Stein said department heads — Public Health Director Paul Pettit, Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Tim Yaeger and Sheriff William Sheron Jr. are providing updated facts daily to the control room.
“We are focused on ensuring that our actions support the region’s smart reopening and risks are minimized by those actions. Our county manager, Jay Gsell, is also an appointee to the control room of the Finger Lakes region,” Stein said. “We are very pleased to have Jay be identified as an asset of the region during this pandemic.”
Gsell noted the seven metrics are regional and are controlled by health data and the Finger Lakes Region Control Room group.
“Our county is 7-of-7, but it’s all about the Finger Lakes region, which, per Governor Cuomo, we are cleared to start planning for Phase 1 on or before May 15,” he said.
Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde said the GCEDC has had frequent engagement with industries to ensure that they reopen safely in Phase 1, including businesses that have been operating as essential businesses.
“With guidance from the state, many of our manufacturing and supply chain businesses have already developed and activated safety plans involving the use of social distancing, personal protective equipment, and sanitation stations within their operations,” Hyde said.
Last week, the GCEDC, Chamber of Commerce, Batavia Development Corporation and Batavia Business Improvement District surveyed Main Street and small businesses about the general challenges they see in reopening and interest in programs to assist with reopening.
“The responses we received from businesses across manufacturing, construction, retail, dining, fitness and entertainment all showed strong interest in safely reopening for customers, with safety plans and access to personal protection equipment as priorities,” Hyde said.
Davis said local manufacturing companies and construction companies will need a plan in place to keep both employees and the general public safe. He said the county has a task force to help with the process.
Livingston County is likewise ready to reopen, but officials urged residents not to become complacent.
“I understand people want more to open up on May 15 — and we are pressing the state to allow additional sectors to open up — but the fact that we are in a region that can open up to some extent on May 15 is a good thing, and we must be positive and optimistic, yet maintain our vigilance,” LeFeber said in a statement. “Some other areas cannot commence the phased-in re-opening until June 1 at the earliest. So we are trying to look on the bright side here. We will work closely with our regional partners to share information and be consistent in our messaging.”
Social distancing and masks will still be required but questions remain on gatherings and Livingston County expects additional guidance this week.
The Finger Lakes Region will need to meet all seven metrics in order to advance to Phase II, noted Livingston County Public Health Director Jennifer Rodriguez.
“It is imperative that we remain diligent about flattening the curve even further through strict adherence to the standards of distancing, wearing masks and frequent washing or sanitizing our hands and places of contact,” she said. Any relaxation of these standards can result in a regression of our current conditions and could cause us to return to the prior phase or outright closures. We obviously do not want that.”
Phase II, when it arrives, will focus on professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support; and real estate/retail lending. Restaurants and hotels will follow in Phase III.
Entertainment establishments and schools are slated to be part of Phase IV.
(Includes reporting by Mallory Diefenbach, Brian Quinn, and Matt Surtel)