More Progress Needed before Mid-Hudson Region Can Begin to Re-open
The Town of Ossining has been closely monitoring Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward plan to re-open business in New York State and how it impacts our community. The Town of Ossining is located within the Mid-Hudson Region, which is comprised of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Ulster, Sullivan, and Orange Counties.
At this time, the Mid-Hudson Region is NOT eligible to re-open on May 15 pursuant to the directives of New York Forward.
New York Forward establishes seven criteria which an entire region must meet in order to advance to phases of re-opening. These criteria include:
- Decline in hospitalizations;
- Decline in deaths;
- Reduced new hospitalizations;
- Hospital bed capacity;
- ICU bed capacity;
- Diagnostic testing capacity; and
- Contact tracing capacity.
More specific information regarding this criteria and our region’s progress on these metrics can be found online. At this time, the Mid-Hudson Region meets five out of the seven criteria, and is therefore not in a position to re-open business. We must experience more days of declined hospital deaths and reduced new hospitalizations prior to moving to Phase One of New York Forward.
What does this mean for Ossining, Westchester County, and the entire Mid-Hudson Region? When New York PAUSE expires on May 15, the underlying restrictions of New York PAUSE will not change. Most businesses that have been closed, will remain closed. If you are a non-essential employee, you will continue to work from home. You must maintain a six foot distance from others when in public and wear face coverings when not able to do so. The only state-wide change that will go into effect on May 15 is the re-opening of certain low risk businesses including landscaping and gardening, outdoor low-risk recreational activities like tennis (subject to certain restrictions), and drive-in movie theaters.
What will happen when the Mid-Hudson Region does meet the seven criteria? The Mid-Hudson Region will enter Phase One of reopening, which includes construction, manufacturing, retail (curbside pickup), wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries, only. Phase Two will include the addition of professional services, retail, administrative support, and real estate/rental & leasing. Phase Three includes restaurants and food services. Phase Four includes arts/entertainment/recreation and education. We are continuing to monitor the guidance from the State for more specific information about what businesses will be included in the various categories. According to New York Forward, there will be at least two weeks in between phases to allow our region to closely monitor the impact re-opening the businesses in that phase has on the seven key metrics listed above. Learn more about New York Forward.
The Town will continue to keep our community apprised of developments, in line with guidelines from New York State. We also encourage you to sign up for daily updates directly from New York State.