WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Counties in the far northern suburbs are looking for some flexibility in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s regional approach to reopening.
“My worry is that some of these businesses won’t come back,” said business owner Katy Behney, whose worry is widely held in Beacon, N.Y.
The Dutchess County city retains its charm, even as its businesses lose revenue, reports CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
“I thought it would be a couple weeks and we would be back to business,” said Behney.
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Cuomo’s reopening plan has Dutchess in the mid-Hudson region, along with COVID-19 hotspots Westchester and Rockland counties.
There’s a growing sense the plan needs to be refined to allow Dutchess, Putnam and other northern counties to reopen as soon as they meet the seven benchmarks outlined by the governor.
“The region we’re in goes all the way down to the New York City borderline but also halfway up the Hudson, so we’ve asked that we be treated commensurate to our rates of COVID active cases,” said Beacon Mayor Lee Kyriacou.
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“When you look at the numbers in Westchester and Rockland, it is drastically different than here,” said Behney. “I feel like people can go about their business in a responsible manner. Like all the retail shops, they never get that busy that anyone would be closer than they are when they go to the grocery store.”
Dutchess County executive March Molinaro is part of a seven-county group pulled from two different regions outlined by Cuomo which all feel they can meet the state’s seven guidelines if larger “hot spot” counties such as Albany and Westchester are not included.
“If we meet those seven, we’re just simply going to suggest that we can begin this process of restarting,” said Molinaro. “Nobody wants to rush this, we want to save lives while allowing people to get back to their lives.”