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Could Memorial Day Weekend, Nice Weather Threaten Progress on Reopening CNY Economy?

WAER File Photo

The Memorial Day Holiday weekend might present a challenge to the Phase-One Economic reopening here in Onondaga County and the rest of Central New York.  Local elected officials are concerned people will spend too much time outside, in public places, and relax their adherence to health and safety measures that allowed the region to reopen. 

Congress Member John Katko praises most residents’ wearing of masks, social distancing and staying at home.  But if progress is going to continue, so must the vigilant behavior.

“We’ve got to continue to be good citizens and we’ve got to continue to follow the rules.  And if we follow the rules and follow the guidelines, I anticipate we’re going to have good news in a couple of weeks.  But if we don’t’ we’re going to have a problem.  So it’s really up to everybody, a team effort all the way around.  I walk into Home Depot or Costco, everyone’s wearing masks; everyone’s trying to d the right thing and I’m hopeful for it.  I really am.”

Katko praised County Executive Ryan McMahon for handling the reopening to date, especially increasing testing and contract tracing to meet state guidelines.  McMahon explains Phase Two of reopening will test things further because of the businesses sectors that get going again.

“Your downtown is coming back to life with commercial buildings, law firms, accountants, insurance agencies.  Real estate professionals can go show houses in the way that they used to be able to.  So phase two is really when, from a health standpoint, we’re very interested in seeing how the virus reacts.  ‘Cause now you’re really putting people together in a work environment.” 

Of course, phase two only happens if the region gets through phase one without a spike in COVID 19 cases … and Memorial Day behavior could impact that. 
Any questions about the phased reopening plans can be addressed at the county’s economic development website:

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.