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Cuomo: WNY Region To Begin Reopening Tuesday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo AP file photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

The Western New York region will enter Phase One of reopening Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at his daily press briefing in Buffalo.

Cuomo said the region, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Erie and Niagara counties, will soon have the information on contact tracers, thus meeting all seven criteria to reopen certain sectors of the economy, including construction, manufacturing and retail curbside pickup.

“All the metrics will be hit,” Cuomo said, “and Western New York will reopen tomorrow. So, that’s exciting. It’s been a long, painful period but we start to reopen tomorrow.”

As of Sunday, Cuomo said the region had met six of the seven metrics needed to enter Phase One. The bulk of six of the metrics deal primarily with COVID-19-related hospital rates and death rates.

The last metric involves contact tracing, people who identify those who may have come into contact with an infected person. The governor said officials within the region have identified enough people to be trained in contact tracing; the metric calls for 30 tracers for every 100,000 residents.

In total, the region needed 521 contact tracers. Cuomo said officials identified 525 tracers.

“Great piece of work that they did over the weekend,” he said, thanking local officials on the regional reopening committee that includes County Executive PJ Wendel and Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist.

In related news, the governor said he has reached out to the owners of pro sports teams. He is encouraging them to plan reopening without fans.

“The games could be televised,” Cuomo said. “New York state will help those major sports franchises to do just that — hockey, basketball, baseball, football.”

“Personal disclosure,” he continued. “I want to watch the Buffalo Bills, but I’m still objective. I’m acting as governor, there’s no personal agenda here. Yes, I do want to watch the Bills.”

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