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Outdoor Dining Can Begin Today

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted in Phase 2 of reopening effective today.

Previously restaurants were limited to providing take-out or delivery services only, with full restaurant services not being able to open until Phase 3.

“This is great news for our area restaurants and local businesses,” said PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive. “Chautauqua County entered Phase 2 Reopening yesterday and today’s announcement brings us one more step forward to safely reopening our economy. Not only will outdoor dining help our area restaurants who may have closed during the pandemic or been limited to takeout services, but it will help them make the transition from outdoor dining to full service dining once we enter Phase 3. I encourage residents to support our local businesses while still practicing social distancing and taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

According to the news release from Cuomo’s office, outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.

Wendel also reminded Phase 2 businesses that they must complete New York state’s guidance documents before they can reopen.

Guidance documents are available at forward.ny.gov. Guidance includes summary guidelines for employers and employees; detailed guidelines, which contain a business affirmation component; and a business safety plan template, which must be completed and posted at the premises.

Businesses who have any questions about the guidance and reopening can contact the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency at 661-8900 or Empire State Development at 846-8200.

A male in his 60s and a female in her 70s are the two newest cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County. The Health Department, in its daily update, noted 15 of the 90 cases are active and 257 are under quarantine/isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored.

Two people are hospitalized* in Chautauqua County through Monday and there have been 71 recoveries, four deaths and 4,008 negative tests.

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