Restaurants in Syracuse’s Westcott Community appear to be having a nice showing of patrons as they reopen following the onset of the pandemic. WAER News was invited on a tour of the area with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Assemblymember Pam Hunter interacting with business owners and patrons.
Hochul seemed delighted to see a sense of normalcy return with diners spaced at least 6 feet apart and enjoying themselves in the outside dining area of the Beer Belly Deli and Pub.
“I wanted to establish this and show the public that it’s safe to come out here. That these businesses can only hang on so long after losing months of business. I’m encouraging people to bring out your wallets, come out here, walk the streets… don’t get too close to each other but, you can do it in a safe way. So, this is an important part of Phase 3, the reopening of the indoor dining.”
She adds the hard sacrifices the public made helped us to reach this point and we must be mindful to protect ourselves with masks and distancing. While malls such as Destiny USA want to reopen, Hochul insists the state must continue to follow CDC guidelines and monitor the virus in other states. Assemblymember Pam Hunter has been pushing for the mall to reopen but, agrees that public health and the timing to reopen are imperative.
“ As we’ve gone through every one of the phases (to re-open), not only just the interior folks at the mall but, we’re talking about the gyms, as well. That’s like the next level of conversations that we’re having.”
The Lieutenant Governor says the large-scale project for the Cuomo Administration to reopen businesses involves assessing nearly every single human activity. She says Phase 4 will have several announcements.
While the state is progressing with the lowest infection rate in the US, the future of annual summer events like the State Fair and public school in the fall are still a big question mark. Hochul says that will depend on the data and explains there’s a risk of holding a massive event like the Fair which has the potential of attracting people from other states with high cases of COVID-19. In the meantime, she tells us that she’s dreaming of having a sausage sandwich and viewing the next butter sculpture like everyone else.