Area businesses asking for greater clarity after orange zone designation


IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley says the last thing he wants to see is any more of the area shut down.

The City of Rochester, parts of Brighton and around 20% of Irondequoit are already in the orange zone, particularly along the East Ridge Road business corridor (he says they fall mostly within zip codes 14609 and 14621). He says right now, one priority is creating a grant program to help businesses.

“The virus is more prevalent than I think it’s ever been and we’re dealing with it now probably in more of a serious manner than since the start of this,” says Seeley.

One bar and restaurant called Rookies in Irondequoit, is down the way from Route 104. The owner, Roger Christiano, is not sure if his business falls into the orange zone. 

“As of today I’m uncertain. The only thing that I picked up on was that there was a map coming out,” says Christiano.

New York state did issue an online tool to see if your business falls in the orange. It shows ‘Rookies’ literally feet away from the orange, barley in the yellow. Other people have complained online that ‘zone’ maps getting put out there differ slightly and need to be solidified.

Christiano wants to stay open. He says the outdoor dining in the cold and take out aren’t exactly financial boosters.

“It’s been very hard especially for the employees. We had to go through is the first time. We tried to at least do to go orders and schedule hours so that at least everyone had a shift,” he says.

In Brighton, the Men’s Room Barber Lounge and Spa is in the orange zone. With Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy telling News 8 closures start on Wednesday, owner Rebecca Webster says she’s hoping for more time to prepare. She also says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking for COVID-19 in the wrong places. 

“Schools, salons and gyms are taking the proper precautions to make sure that they are keeping a safe environment,” says Webster.

Planet Fitness, which has a location near Irondequoit’s orange zone issued a statement saying,

“Planet Fitness remains committed to safely helping New Yorkers maintain their physical and mental health. We will continue to work closely with local health departments to ensure we are following all regulations. The data shows COVID-19 is not spreading at our gyms thanks to the dedication of our employees and members.”

— David Humphrey, CEO, ECP-PF Holdings Group, Inc.

Either way, Supervisor Seeley says the ability to get out of this orange zone rests with citizens in it. Remember to wear your mask, socially distance yourself, and be smart in the days ahead.

“We’re at a very serious point with this virus. And now is one of those moments when we either get back on the right track like we did back in March or we can continue to go down this hole,” he says.

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