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State guidelines released for phase two businesses

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After a confusing start, more guidance on phase two was finally released yesterday along with official approval to enter for the Central New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and North Country regions.

Gearing up to return to their jobs include office-based workers, real estate agents, in-store retail shops and some barbershop/hair salon services.

Each is subject to industry-specific protocols from the state, which are available here.

“Remember that reopening does not mean that we’re going back to the way things were,” Governor Cuomo said. “Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward. And it’s going to be different. This is about reopening to a new normal — a safer normal. People will be wearing masks and people will be socially distanced — it’s a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do. Wear a mask, get tested and socially distance.”

Cuomo also announced the implementation of a new early warning dashboard that collects real-time data for government officials and experts to monitor containment of the virus on an ongoing basis.

The dashboard tracks new infections and their severity, hospital capacity by region, and other metrics.

Additionally, New York City has been approved to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8.

For local businesses having difficulty accessing the safety template or completing their affirmation document, help is available on the Cortland County website.

Help is also available from the County by calling 607-753-5049 between 8 am – 3:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Meanwhile the New York Farm Bureau is advising producers about new comprehensive state guidelines to help them manage and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on their farms.

Farms have already implemented a number of health and safety practices to protect their families and employees.

The new guidance includes information for farmworkers, detailed cleaning protocols and a checklist for farms to follow.

“Planting season is underway and guest workers are arriving on farms. If we are to farm and produce food in a safe and responsible manner, farmers need to understand how best to do that amid a pandemic,”said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President. “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo as well as the Commissioners of Agriculture and Markets, Health and Labor for the newly released guidance. Farm safety is extremely important, and we must do all that we can to inform our farms, protect our valuable employees, and prevent a potential spread of the virus. No place of business is immune from the virus, and I ask my fellow farmers to continue to be proactive in their efforts.”

Links to the COVID-19 documents for farmers can be found below:

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