ONEIDA COUNTY, NY (WUTR-TV) — Five regions in New York State are now set to enter Phase Four on Friday, including the Mohawk Valley Region. On Wednesday, the governor’s office announced that gyms, malls and movie theaters across the state will remain closed — when those businesses were originally set to reopen in Phase Four.
“I still think it can be reached. If a church can open up a limited capacity why can’t a movie theater?” says Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. “The governor allowed a little bit today [Wednesday] that there still looking at this stuff. So I am not going to throw it out right now and again, it is disappointing for these businesses because they have been planning for it and its hard for them to that all along they have been in Phase Four, Phase Four, Phase Four, and then three days before it’s like well…you can’t [open] yet,” says Picente.
Ultimately, it comes down to making sure people, employees feel safe heading back. “Hopefully if it’s not this Friday, maybe it’s Monday or early next week as long as we can come up with that common ground and those measures the state is looking for and then we can form the health side for comfort,” says Picente.
Picente says it’s unclear if Phase Four will be Friday or Saturday. Oneida County is in communication with the state and local businesses. He says he’s confident these businesses can open safety in Phase Four. “The governor has the discretion in terms of the executive orders of what is in there and what is not I understand that, I can disagree with that. There’s not much I can do in that regard, but I think given the time frame that we have, gives us a few days to look at it from a perspective,” says Picente.
Central New York, Southern Tier, The North Country and Finger Lakes Region also got the green light from the state to reopen at the end of this week.