Phase two questions left unanswered by Gov. Cuomo


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Guomo didn’t address many of the questions about phase two during his daily press briefing on Thursday.

“I can tell you in the state there are no different standard thirds of safety,” Cuomo said.  “When it’s safe to reopen and if it’s safe for your family, it’s safe for my family, and I wouldn’t re-open an area that I didn’t consider was safe for my family.”

MORE | New York releases guidance for phase two amid confusion

Rochester and the Finger Lakes region began phase one on May 15. Two weeks to that date is Friday and according to the phased reopening plan, the area should be scheduled to being phase two. However, no guidance or specifications have come from the governor’s office.

According to the governor’s office, the phases of reopening are as follows:

  • Phase one — Construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, retail (with curbside pickup), agriculture, forestry, and fishing.
  • Phase two — Professional services, finances and insurance, retail, administrative support, real estate/rental leasing
  • Phase three — Restaurants/food services, and hotels/accommodations
  • Phase four — Arts/entertainment/recreation, and education

The office of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy — who was appointed as special advisor to the governor to oversee the reopening — clarified that the guidelines for each phase called for a minimum of two weeks, not exactly two weeks.

“We are awaiting word from Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development on the potential for Finger Lakes regional phase two reopening. The guidelines call for a minimum of two weeks between phases, not exactly two weeks. Learn more at”

— Dan Smith, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Cuomo has said again and again in his daily briefings that the meter for reopening is the infection rate of the coronavirus. Last week, the area saw a bit of a spike in COVID-19 cases, however Monroe County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza attributed that to more testing.

There have been 216 COVID-19 deaths and 2,774 confirmed cases in Monroe County. Of those 2,774 cases, 191 people are hospitalized and 19 of those patients are receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit. The number of patients hospitalized is up one from Tuesday.

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

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