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Friday, July 3, 2020

Top Stories > General

Mid-Hudson Region meets metrics, county can begin reopening

May 28, 2020

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

By: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Alessandra Iavarone, founder and owner of The Velvet Maple Lifestyle Shoppe in Narrowsburg, said she's eager to reopen with safety precautions in place.
SULLIVAN COUNTY — The state's phased reopening plan requires regions across the state to meet seven data metrics in order to begin Phase I of reopening. The Mid-Hudson Region, which includes Sullivan County, met the seven metrics on Tuesday and has begun Phase I.
The first phase includes construction, agriculture and retail with curbside pickup. The region became the eighth region to reach Phase I; Long Island began on Wednesday and New York City is expected to open soon.
The region needed to see a decline in deaths and have a contact tracing program in place, which has now just begun.
“We're turning the page on the COVID-19 pandemic and we're focusing on two tracks going forward - monitoring the reopening and supercharging the reopening,” Gov.
Andrew Cuomo said. “We're starting to reopen in nearly every region all across the state - we have a dashboard available so every New Yorker can see the numbers every day and our regional control groups are studying the numbers and the data.”
As of press time yesterday, there were 253 active cases of coronavirus in the county. The number of deaths recently increased by one to a total of 30.
The coronavirus crisis has taken a hit on the local economy, with County Treasurer Nancy Buck saying the county will need help from the federal government, as they anticipate a cut in state aid.
The county legislature is taking steps to alleviate some of the financial burden, including staff layoffs, early retirement incentives and a freeze on new hiring. Still, they wonder if the economy will be able to come back.
“This is a big first step in the recovery of Sullivan County,” said Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty. “Our sales tax revenue was down by 30 percent in March and April, so we need more than a glimmer of hope here. This is prime time for our businesses, and it's imperative that we get them back open.”
Local retail businesses can now reopen for curbside pickup and many are taking safety precautions such as wearing masks and only allowing one person in the store at a time.
Alessandra Iavarone, founder and owner of The Velvet Maple Lifestyle Shoppe in Narrowsburg, has been closed for the last few months after the executive order shutting down non-essential businesses.
She said she's tried to stay productive during that time, adding a second dressing room to the store so more than one person can try clothes on at a time and renovating the bathroom, and is looking forward to safely reopening.
She will require customers wear a face mask to enter the store and will have hand sanitizer available. She will also try to limit each customers' shopping experience to 20 minutes, so that everyone can enjoy.
“I am staying hopeful, but the limited amount of people allowed in will no doubt affect my annual sales as most of us local businesses really count on the summer season earnings,” Iavarone said.

Contributed Photo

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