A number of businesses in the Hudson Valley can open now, despite the region not hitting all of the benchmarks needed to reopen.

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As of Wednesday morning, seven regions in New York State have started Phase 1 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's four-phased reopening. Cuomo laid out seven metrics, based on CDC recommendations, that regions must meet to reopen, including hospital capacity, daily deaths and new infections.

Under his plan, a region can start Phase 1 of the reopening process if all seven metrics are hit. Phase 1 includes the reopening of construction, manufacturing, retail with curbside pickup, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. As of this writing, seven of the 10 regions in New York started the reopening process.

The Mid-Hudson, Long Island and New York City regions remain closed. The Mid-Hudson Region currently meets 5 of the 7 metrics needed to reopen.

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Recently, New York State updated what it considers an "essential" business and added a wrinkle that will allow some businesses in the Hudson Valley to open now, despite the region not hitting all of the benchmarks.

"In regions that are not within the first phase of the state's regional reopening plan, delivery for orders placed remotely via phone or online at non-essential retail establishments; provided, however, that only one employee is physically present at the business location to fulfill orders," Empire State Development writes in its essential business guidance for essential retail.

While the Mid-Hudson region hasn't yet to hit Phase 1, small businesses in the Hudson Valley can reopen for curbside pickup or home delivery.

According to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, businesses that plan to reopen must also follow these guidelines:

  • There can be only one employee within the store fulfilling phone or internet orders.
  • Others can be making deliveries curbside or to homes and businesses on behalf of that store.
  • Appropriate precautions must be used such as employees and customers all maintaining at least six feet social distance from each other, wearing mouth- and nose-covering masks, and repeated thorough hand washing or sanitizing.

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