Western New York will enter the third phase of the economic reopening on Tuesday, with the Capital Region following the next day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.
The infection rate in all regions of the state remain below 2 percent of the tens of thousands of people who have been tested in the last day, with some areas maintaining an infection rate of lower than 1 percent of those tested.
Hospitalizations from coronavirus remain below 2,000 cases and stand at the lowest level since March 20, Cuomo said. 32 people have died in the last 24 hours, a sharp and sustained declined from the hundreds of people who had died daily from the virus.
The third phase will allow restaurants to serve customers indoors and personal grooming businesses like nail salons can reopen. Social distancing must be followed and masks must be worn.
Five regions of New York -- the North Country, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, central New York and the Mohawk Valley -- began the third phase on Friday.
Businesses deemed non-essential first closed in March in order to stem the spread of the virus amid a pandemic that has killed more than 20,000 people in the state since then.
But while the news on the COVID front has been good for New York, Cuomo warned New Yorkers to not let down their guard. Other states have started to reopen around the country only to see their infection rates sharply increase.
"Be careful," Cuomo said. "New York is the anomaly. New York is the exact opposite. Virtually all the states reopened and the number goes up."
The Democratic governor said he spoke with local officials and urged them to enforce social distancing rules and other reopening measures put in place by the state.
If infections start to rise, Cuomo said it will be up to local officials to explain to their residents why the reopening had to stop.
"The local governments have to enforce compliance," Cuomo said. "It's not popular, it's not fun. Everyone wants to be out, I get it. Discipline matters."