Mid-Hudson region begins phase 1 reopening today
The process of restarting the economy in the Lower Hudson Valley begins today.
New York's Mid-Hudson region, which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties, has been given the green light from the state to begin phase 1 reopening.
Phase 1 allows for construction, agriculture, in-store and curbside retail pick-up, manufacturing, and wholesale trade to start up again.
"The blue-collar workforce, they go back to work and that helps the process of starting to get people off of unemployment and back into the normal flow of things," say Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
But getting the economy back on its feet will be a slow and balanced process.
"Contact tracing, making sure that our bed numbers are there, and our testing numbers are there. Those things we can control. I think we'll be there, so we can move to the next phase," says Latimer.
On March 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order which shut down all nonessential businesses.
Since then, the state has processed more than two million unemployment claims, costing about $10 billion, according to the New York Labor Department.
Still, many people who have spoken to News 12 say the public still needs to be cautious about spreading the virus. "Are we really ready for that? For the reopening? Is everybody going to be in compliance? That's my concern here," says Robert Presser, of Bronxville. "I think we need it and the economy needs it, but we have to be careful,” says Will Carlson, of Bronxville.
Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan could begin in as little as two weeks, if the number of coronavirus cases remains stable.