At the beginning of the day Wednesday, May 13, the Capital Region, of which both Columbia, and Dutchess Counties are a part of, had hit six of the seven required metrics set forth by State officials for regions across New York to begin re-opening its economy. However, by the end of the day, Governor Cuomo announced that the region had fallen back to satisfying only five of the necessary metrics. “While we are disappointed at this news, I think we are closing in on the day when the seven metrics are met and we are able to begin opening Columbia County under Phase One of the state’s plan. Everyone is eagerly anticipating that day,” said Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell who despite last week having called for the Governor’s office to re-evaluate those metrics, has seemed to have acquiesced to State recommendations. “Just because we hit May 15, the latest deadline set by the State’s NY ON PAUSE plan, it doesn’t mean that businesses can simply open their doors and resume business as usual. We have to follow the Executive Order or there will be penalties,” Murell added without elaborating on what penalties might occur should a business wish to open sooner. “As much as we might look forward to businesses being allowed to open, Columbia County cannot go it alone,” he said.

Image courtesy of the Hillsdale Town Newsletter

As part of the Governor’s plan, New York State will gradually ease essential business restrictions in four phases. Once regions meet the seven metrics which are as follows:

  • 14-day decline in hospitalizations or under 15 new hospitalizations (three-day average)
  • 14-day decline in hospitalized deaths or under 5 new hospitalized deaths (three-day average)
  • New hospitalizations: under two per 100K residents (three-day rolling average)
  • Share of total beds available (threshold of 30%)
  • Share of ICU beds available (threshold of 30%)
  • 30 per 1K residents tested monthly (seven-day avg of new tests per day)
  • 30 contact tracers per 100k residents or to meet current infection rate

According to the State, once all seven metrics have been met, Columbia and Dutchess Counties can enter Phase 1 which includes construction, manufacturing and select retail (with curbside pickup). The other phases are as follows:

Phase 2: Includes professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support, and real estate/rental leasing

Phase 3: Includes restaurants, food services and hotels

Phase 4: Includes arts, entertainment, recreation and education

For more information on New York State reopening guidelines click here