Duffy on reopening: Officials looking at infection rates, testing


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Bob Duffy, the CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a special advisor to reopen the region’s economy.

During a News 8 COVID-19 town hall Friday, Duffy said infection rates, testing, and hospitalization rates would each be important to a reopening decision.

“If you can go fourteen days without any new infections, that’s a great benchmark,” said Duffy.

“If the governor makes the decision to open some businesses up, it’s not going to be business as usual. You can expect, again, social distancing, wearing masks, the issue of hand washing, hand hygiene, those things over and over again. That is how we are going to live for some time,” said Duffy.

A small demonstration in Rochester Friday advocated for a safe reopening.

“We’re protesting, or demonstrating for the same rights as a Walmart or a Wegmans has to open their doors and conduct their business with safety precautions in place,” said John Hutchings, a fitness studio owner. “We think we can do the same thing.”

MORE | COVID-19 county by county: Keeping track of local cases throughout the region

Those calls are echoed by Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-131), who spoke with News 8 via telephone.

“People are concerned about their livelihoods,” said Kolb, “they’re seeing some people out working and protecting, and yet people are having their hands tied. That’s why I think we need to put together a much more aggressive program.”

Statewide, who reopens and when they reopen is ultimately up to Governor Cuomo, who ordered non-essential businesses such as hair salons and gyms closed until May 15.

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