May 11, 2020 2:00 pm

Good afternoon:  Today, Governor Cuomo announced that the Southern Tier has met all seven benchmarks required and can move forward with a Phase I reopening beginning Friday, May 15th.  Phase I businesses include manufacturing, construction and select retail businesses for curbside pickup.  Gov. Cuomo also added agricultural, forestry and fishing businesses to the Phase I list.  If the regions continue to meet the reopening benchmarks, additional phases will be introduced every two weeks.


Additional phases include:


Phase Two

  • Professional services
  • Finance and insurance
  • Retail
  • Administrative support
  • Real estate and rental leasing


Phase Three

  • Restaurants and food service
  • Hotels and accommodations


Phase Four

  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Education


In order to reopen, businesses will be required to have an established reopening plan that includes:


  • Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace.
  • Enact social distancing protocols.
  • Restrict non-essential travel for employees.
  • Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others.
  • Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace.
  • Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and
  • Develop liability processes.


Additional state guidance on reopening plans will be issued in the coming days.


Examples of reopening plans and recommendations can be found on the International Economic Development Council’s website at


Also, tomorrow the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a virtual Small Business Roundtable at 2:00 pm featuring Darlene Smith, the Steuben County Public Health Director.  Darlene will be talking about general reopening guidelines and the specific items that Steuben County would like to have included as businesses develop their plans.  More information can be found by contacting Janet Morgan at the Chamber via


As always, additional information will be sent out as it becomes available.