As the county continues the long process of reopening our various industries and professions, we’re making sure you have a convenient, up-to-date guide to what phase we’re in, how it’s progressing, and how long until the next stages can be implemented.
Phase One – Construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing, wholesale trade, curbside/in-store retail pickup
Phase Two – Professional services (finance, insurance, admin support), in-store retail, real estate sales and leasing, hair salons and barber shops, outdoor dining, places of worship (at 25% capacity, with distancing)
Phase Three – Dine-in restaurants (at 50% capacity, with distancing), food services, public hotels, personal care services (spas, massage therapy, etc.), low-risk youth sports, gatherings of up to 25 people, hotels for non-essential/healthcare workers.
Phase Four – Higher education, recreation, entertainment* and the arts (such as zoos and museums), religious gatherings (at 33% capacity) and social gatherings of up to 50 people, TV and film production, professional sports (without fans).
*Malls, gyms, casinos, and movie theaters are being considered high-risk indoor activities and are being studied more closely to determine when they will be safe to reopen.
As of Tuesday, June 23, the Mid-Hudson economic region, which Westchester County is a part of, is cleared to begin Phase Three of reopening.
“New Yorkers have been smart and disciplined throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is essential for residents and businesses to continue to follow all necessary precautions to ensure the virus does not spread as we advance the Mid-Hudson reopening,” the governor says.
Previously, Westchester County Executive George Latimer praised Westchester’s size and medical infrastructure as major contributing factors in getting one of the nation’s largest COVID-19 epicenters to meet the metrics for reopening. He was careful, however, to remind all that this is only the first step to reopening the county.
“This is not the beginning of the end. As Churchill said, it’s ‘The end of the beginning.’”
Phase Three reopening in Westchester will center on dine-in restaurant service (at 50% capacity, with masks and other health precautions) and “personal care services” such as spas, massage therapy, and nail salons, but also including tattoo and piercing parlors, tanning, and other beauty-related businesses.
Each phase is buffered by a two-week monitoring period to ensure hospitalization and infection rates do not spike after reopening each portion of the economy. If benchmarks do not continue to be met, regions will be downgraded to their preceding phase until viral spread is back under control.
Latimer was optimistic, saying, “I believe we are going to go through Phase I pretty quickly.”
In order to reopen, businesses must read through the detailed NY Forward Reopening Plan and submit an affirmation to having done so, and provide a detailed, documented plan for how they will personally reopen while maintaining the safety of their staff, clients, and the public. Industry specific guidelines can be viewed here.
If all goes well, locals can look forward to businesses reopening according to the following schedule:
Phase One – May 26
Phase Two – June 9
Phase Three – June 23
Phase Four – July 7
Not sure if you qualify to reopen? Click here to see if your business and industry are ready and what you have to do to prepare.