Although Governor Andrew Cuomo repeatedly laid out a strict four-phase reopening process, complete with 7 metrics each region had to meet, it seems there is an unofficial next phase after all.
Regional Control Boards, in charge of monitoring the rate of infection and conducting testing in their areas, were informed on Tuesday that malls, gym, movie theaters and outdoor theme parks were not cleared to reopen at the start of Phase 4.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said he was briefed by Budget Director Robert Mujica on this decision.
“It goes without saying that the process of reopening New York’s economy in the wake of a global pandemic is a fluid one," McCoy said. "And county and regional leaders are constantly getting new information from the State as we move forward without risking the health and safety of our residents."
McCoy continued, "As we get new information on any updated guidelines, I will share it as promptly as possible with Albany County and Capital Region residents.”
Even though malls were not explicitly outlined to reopen in Phase 4, many shopping areas were working under the assumption that there was a good possibility they would be able to move forward.
That includes the Colonie Center that issued this statement:
"While we understand this is a fluid situation, to say we are disheartened and disappointed with the latest development would be an understatement. Over the last three months, we have been preparing to open with the health and safety of our shoppers, retailers, and employees at the forefront of our minds. We have purchased masks, social distancing signage, added additional hand sanitizers, installed nano-skins, and will be implementing additional safety measures throughout the center. Our hearts hurt for our retailers, many of whom are small businesses. We will continue to stand behind them in anticipation of the day we are permitted to reopen our doors."
Museums, aquariums, zoos, and movie and film production will be allowed to reopen during Phase 4 at 25% capacity.