Cattaraugus and Allegany counties will begin the initial process of reopening on Tuesday, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in Buffalo Monday that the Western New York region had reached a final required benchmark.
Cuomo had said on Sunday that the five-county region was on track to start the gradual reopening process as soon as later this week. The only one of the seven metrics that the region had failed to meet was sufficient contact tracers in place — the region needed 521 contact tracers.
On Monday, 525 had been identified and they are being trained today, Cuomo said.
The reopening happening in Phase One applies only to a handful of select industries, like curbside retail or construction. It doesn’t change any of the rules for parties or gatherings or events, which are all still prohibited.
Bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, hair salons and others aren’t eligible to restart until later phases of the state’s plan.
The state's four phases of reopening have not been spelled out in great detail to this point — the Cuomo administration has said that more specific instructions will be forthcoming.
(The Olean Times Herald will update this story with reaction from county and municipal officials.)