State To Re-Open With Regional Approach After Local Leaders Push Plan

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ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that New York State will re-open with a regional approach, with Western New York’s leadership coming from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hocoul, a Buffalo native. 

Cuomo’s announcement came just days after State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell’s plan for a phased-in reopening was submitted to the Governor’s office.

Borrello, who was a guest during Congressman Tom Reed’s (R-Corning) teleconference with reporters this morning, told WNYNewsNow that re-opening the state’s economy should be based both on public health and the economy.

“My fear is that the Governor is going to look at this through a political lens, knowing that opening up Upstate New York is going to create political problems for him downstate,” Borrello said. “I just want him to recognize that if I was in a car, and I was running out of gas, somebody had a gallon of gas to give me, I would take the gallon of gas, I wouldn’t hope I could coast it to the next gas station.”

“If the Governor doesn’t allow at least parts of the state to open, we are going to run out of gas quickly.”

Borrello also spoke with WNYNewsNow following the Governor’s announcement. He says the news was rather positive for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties, along with Upstate New York as a region.

“I’m certainly glad to hear that our voice has been heard with the Governor, that we do need to re-open the state responsibly, but also based on region,” Borrello said. “Really, this is important because we have to get our economy started, and the state, as a whole, is very diverse. Starting in the less densely populated areas, and with the businesses and industries that are safely able to social distance and follow the other guidelines, it’s important that we get started as soon as we can responsibly.”

Borrello says he “feels for” those who’ve suffered in Downstate New York, but he adds that the Downstate will still benefit from the delivery of food, as well as the generating of income and sales tax revenue as a result of the Upstate New York region re-opening.

WNYNewsNow also asked Borrello if thought it would be safe to re-open the counties that border Erie County, which remains a hot spot of activity for the COVID-19. Borrello says that it would, indeed, be safe.

“It’s about addressing it (re-opening) industry by industry, and determining the best way,” Borrello said. Borrello says, however, that a municipality within a re-opened region that remains a hot spot should “be taken out of the mix.”

Cuomo also announced that some hospitals in Upstate New York  will now be allowed to hold elective outpatient surgeries.


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