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Cuomo gives the go-ahead for phase 2 reopening in CNY, four other regions

By Adam Rombel (


The Hair Hut salon in Fulton. Hair salons and barbershops are part of phase two in Central New York's reopening from the coronavirus shutdown. (Vance Marriner/ CNYBJ)

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier regions have received the green light to start the second phase of their economic reopening from the coronavirus shutdown, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced early Friday afternoon.

The Finger Lakes (Rochester) region is the fifth one that can proceed, he said.

The announcement came after a communication breakdown over the last 24 hours left it unclear if phase two would begin in these regions Friday, two weeks after they had started phase one.

The governor in a radio interview Thursday afternoon said international experts would need to review New York’s regional data and provide the blessing for moving to the next phase. A number of county executives and other local officials in upstate New York expressed outrage Thursday night and Friday morning that the next step in reopening was seemingly on hold.

Cuomo today said the experts had completed their review and the five regions can move forward to phase two.

“We wanted to make sure the data was reviewed by all the experts,” the governor said in this daily coronavirus briefing, which started at 1 p.m. at Iona College in New Rochelle.

The industries that are part of phase two are:

  • Offices
  • Real estate
  • In-store retail (but not malls)
  • Vehicle sales, leases, and rentals
  • Retail rental, repair, and cleaning
  • Commercial building management
  • Hair salons and barbershops

Malls, specifically, any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space cannot open. However, any stores located within shopping malls, which have their own external entrances open to the public, separate from the general mall entrance (e.g. strip malls), may open.

The state posted guidance for these phase two industries online.

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