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Politics & Government

Onondaga County Enters Phase Three With Strong Health Data And Economic Stress

Onondaga County Executive's Office

Phase Three of New York’s economic restart officially began Friday across Central New York. Restaurants are retraining staff and reorganizing their spaces to comply with state requirements. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the County is in a good position as it enters this next phase, but the public must continue to adhere to health and safety precautions.

“This helps our economy. This helps get people back to work. This helps with mental health,” said McMahon. “We just need to be smart. For us to get into Phase Four, we need to continue to see the data stabilize the way it has. Hopefully see some progress as well, but we need the public to do this.”

Friday was the fourth straight day for a fall in active COVID-19 cases, and community spread averages remain relatively low.

Though additional businesses opening countywide is expected to help with the region’s current economic struggles, McMahon knows more aid is needed. Along with other state and local lawmakers, he has been advocating for federal relief for weeks and worked on the newest coronavirus stimulus bill.

“And I know what that gets us. I think that’d get us $40 million in Onondaga County, which gives us a fighting chance," said McMahon. "Some of these other bills, I’m not quite sure how that’s going to play out. But we need something. If we can get something, that would give us at least options.”

Legislation is waiting to be taken up in the Senate, after passing in the House. Locally, legislators are weighing their options, considering layoffs, a temporary energy tax, and other ways to minimize spending.