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Capital Region, Western NY can start to reopen

The Capital Region is ready to start Phase 1 of reopening with manufacturing, construction and curbside retail businesses to open up this week as soon as more contract tracers are identified.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that Western New York and the Capital Region — which reaches north as far as Warren and Washington counties — have both met the metrics for Phase 1 reopening.

The Capital Region needs to identify 166 additional contact tracers to meet the goal of 383 tracers. The tracers are tasked with keeping contact with positive patients and those who are quarantined.

The governor said his office will be working with both the Capital Region and Western New York to get that tracing up, but called that a “purely administrative function.”

“We’ll be talking to the regional heads today to find those additional personnel to get them trained and get them ready,” Cuomo said in his daily press conference. “But that’s the only function that has to be performed for those regions to open. And again, that’s something that we anticipated, and that’s just administrative and working together with the regions, we can get that done.”

Warren County said Phase 1 of business reopening can start later this week. In the first phase, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, manufacturing and wholesale trade businesses are allowed to reopen, and retail stores can provide curbside or in-store pickup or drop-off.

The “Restarting Washington County” Advisory Committee plans to meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday to continue local planning and support efforts.

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