After a steady depreciation in the number of infections, Governor Cuomo reopens retail stores and hair salons in Phase 2 of reopening in Western New York. 

Today, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed 1,329 additional cases of COVID-19 in New York State, bringing the sum total to 373,040. New cases were reported in 43 counties. 

Despite the inevitable increase in cases, New York State has come a long way from the sudden and devastatingly steep rise in positive infections since early March.

Today, June 3rd, Western New York enters Phase 2 of reopening. The capital region, surrounding Albany, enters Phase 1 of reopening next Monday, June 8th. And finally, summer day camps will reopen on June 29th. 

“Today is day 94 of the COVID-19 pandemic and if you look at the progress we have made in New York, it’s breathtaking how far and how fast we’ve come,” Governor Cuomo said and went on to share some more good news today.

The number of hospitalizations in New York is down, the number of new COVID cases walking in the door is at an all-time low and the number of deaths is just about as low as we have seen it. “As the numbers continue to decline, Western New York is now ready to begin phase two of reopening, and the Capital Region remains on track to open for phase two tomorrow, ” Cuomo said. 

What is possible for tentative New Yorkers as various parts of the state enter Phase 2 of reopening? 

In Phase 2, retail stores such as shopping malls, boutiques, CVS, Walmart, and hair salons will accept customers into their stores. Not only will many people be able to return to their jobs and resume making money, but individuals will also be able to get a haircut. 

Throughout this pandemic, the inability to get a haircut has become an unexpected inconvenience that most have taken for granted before. 

Yet, while the statistics look relatively favorable for reopening, each death and positive infection is a precious life. Therefore, one requirement still remains: The Governor issued an order that customers must wear a mask inside any of the businesses and will be kicked out if they don’t comply with this public safety measure.

In addition to this requirement, the trajectory of the virus will continue to be monitored closely by public health experts.

Greenlight to move forward 

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota reports, “As the next two regions in New York State have been given the green light to begin to move from phase 1 to phase 2 the State’s new early warning dashboard will help to mitigate any problems that arise. It is critical to continue to move forward based on data and New York State is doing just that.”   

Another public health expert, Dr. Samir Bhatt, Senior Lecturer in The Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, also assured, “As the Western New York and Capital regions begin to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, the State’s metrics provide a comprehensive view for tracking and controlling the disease. We will continue to monitor these data closely in order to make sure the next phase is implemented in a manner that balances public health and economic activity.”  

New York State, as one of the states hardest hit by the 1st wave of the pandemic, will continue to be a model for reopening for months to come. 

Karen Jang is a Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today. She is studying Chemistry at Barnard College of Columbia University and Classical Violin at the Manhattan School of Music. Karen is a graduate...

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