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Southern Tier To Begin First Phase Of Reopening

ENFIELD, NY (WSKG) - The Southern Tier has met all the criteria to begin reopening. Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on Monday.

The Southern Tier joins the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley as regions that can begin to reopen starting on Friday.

Speaking after the announcement, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar stressed the cooperation between the Southern Tier counties.

"It's not just great news for our county. It's great news for our region," he said. "As our other counties - as they do well, we do well," Garnar said. "We're a region. We're united."

The Southern Tier region also includes Delaware, Chemung, Tioga, Tompkins, Chenango, Schuyler and Steuben counties.

Cuomo said that the business sectors that can begin to re-open in phase one are based on several criteria to continue to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Those that are most essential," he said. "And those that pose a lower risk because you can socially distance, etc. That’s the matrix to make the decision. And then businesses have to do their part also. This is not a one-sided affair."

Construction, manufacturing and some agriculture are some of the sectors that can return to work on May 15. Whether areas can remain open and move to the next phase will be monitored by regional boards.

Garnar noted that the public must continue to practice social distancing, wear face masks and other protective measures.

"We're getting close to Memorial Day and people are going to want to do the same things that they did last summer," Garnar added. "And you're not going to be able to."