CORONAVIRUS IN NASSAU: Phase 1 reopenings start Wednesday; Phase 2 could start in two weeks or less

Maya Rajamani
May 26, 2020 - 2:21 pm

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Tuesday reported 70 new COVID-19 cases — and said the county is on track to start reopening on Wednesday. 

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    Both Nassau and Suffolk counties will begin Phase 1 of their reopenings Wednesday morning. During her daily briefing on Tuesday, Curran said Phase 2 could happen in two weeks or less.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated that the two week period between phases could “shrink” if coronavirus numbers “continue to go in the right direction,” she noted. As of Tuesday, 410 people in Nassau County were hospitalized with COVID-19 — down by 12 people from Monday, Curran said. 

    “I know people are itching to get back to work. I know it’s going to take some time. It’s going to be a slow process to get back,” she said. “So I’m really happy we are starting that process tomorrow.” 

    Phase 1 reopenings on Long Island will include construction, curbside and in-store pickup at retail stores, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and agricultural fishing and forestry, Curran said. 

    Phase 2 will include in-store retail, professional services (including insurance, law and accounting firms), administrative support, and real estate, rental and leasing firms, she said. 

    “Retail coming back in Phase 2 will look different than retail was pre-pandemic,” she said. “People will have their PPE, there will probably be staggering of shifts, (and a) certain amount (of people) allowed into a store.” 

    Beauty salons could reopen during Phase 2 if the state and county designate them “professional services,” she noted. 

    Phase 3 on Long Island involve “get(ting) back to a more traditional look for our restaurants and food services,” Curran said.

    Phase 4, meanwhile, will focus on arts, entertainment, recreation and education. A decision on reopening schools will likely come at least 60 days before the start of the school year, to give educators and administrators planning time, she said. 

    New York state recently launched a new website that includes detailed information about the different reopening phases, the county executive noted. Nassau County also has its own website offering resources for businesses that are planning to reopen. 

    Curran said she has been speaking with museum operators who believe they can reopen and relaunch “touchless programs” with “very little risk.” 

    The county is hoping to reopen outdoor spaces like the Old Westbury Gardens, Planting Fields and Bailey Arboretum as well, she said. 

    Curran on Tuesday also announced that the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum will be launching a drive-in movie seriesThe Coliseum will broadcast movies on a large, back-lit LED screen outside the venue, facing Hempstead Turnpike.

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