Syracuse, N.Y. — After a week of hype, it appears Upstate New York won’t be eligible to start phase two of the state’s four-phase restart plan tomorrow, as promised by many local leaders.
The reversal comes just hours after Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon insisted the region was headed toward reopening.
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo complicated any hopes of a speedy move forward during a radio interview Thursday afternoon. He said phase two wouldn’t begin at the end of phase one. Rather, international experts would analyze the state’s data and determine whether it was safe to move ahead.
After a call with regional leaders Thursday night, it became clear Cuomo planned to sign an executive order extending phase one of the restart.
Anthony Picente, the Oneida County Executive, told the Utica Observer Dispatch after the call that the Mohawk Valley region wouldn’t be moving into phase two.
“I’m not confused. I’m outraged,” Picente told the paper. “There was plenty of time to at least give us some indication.”
Cuomo’s position surprised and angered local leaders, who were operating under the assumption that hundreds more businesses would be able to reopen Friday. But Cuomo never gave explicit approval for any region to start phase two, which includes office jobs, retail and many private services like barbers and stylists.
In a meeting with regional control groups later in the evening Thursday, Cuomo’s aides told local leaders that no region would be eligible to start phase two until experts had reviewed the data from phase one.
According to North Country Public Radio, state officials told local leaders no region was authorized to begin phase two right now.