Chenango County Moves Into Phase Four Reopening

By: Catherine Sasso

Chenango County moves into phase four reopening Commerce Chenango, Chenango County Department of Health, and the Emergency Management Office discuss the phase four reopening of Chenango County. (Photo from Commerce Chenango Webinar)

CHENANGO COUNTY – Friday, June 26, Chenango County moved into phase four of the reopening of New York State. Commerce Chenango held a live webinar discussing what was included in the phase four reopening.

According to President and CEO of Commerce Chenango Kerri Green our region must meet metrics in seven categories in order to be able to move onto each phase.

Those metrics include a decline in total hospitalizations, decline in deaths, the number of new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, diagnostic testing capacity, and contact tracing capacity.

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Chenango County is part of the Southern Tier region which has met the requirements to move onto the next phase.

Phase four includes Higher Education, Media Production, Low Risk Indoor and Outdoor Arts and Entertainment.

Public Health Director for Chenango County Marcus Flindt explained what each category includes. Flindt began by reviewing higher education.

“These organizations just like the businesses in the opening in phase one, two and three will have to submit a safety plan and certify with the state.”

Flindt explains that the most important part of the plan will be that it include social distancing measures.

“Masks will be worn when six feet social distancing is not possible. Another big component the state is looking for is cleaning. The cleaning of desks, high touch surfaces will have to be done and that will also be included in the plan,” said Flindt. “We certainly wish our higher education organization in the county best of luck and wishes as they now have permission to open.”

Higher education organizations include community and junior colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, medical schools, and technical schools.

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Director of Environmental Health Isaiah Sutton said DCMO Boces is not included in technical schools in terms of Higher Education.

“Media Production,” said Flindt, “The key word in this is production. This does not include for example theaters. Again, safety plans need to be made and to certify with the state.”

Flindt also reminds business owners that safety plans should not be submitted to the Chenango County Health Department. “That's not necessary,” he said.

Low risk outdoor arts and entertainment includes outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, grounds of historic sites and culture institutions, outdoor museums, outdoor agitourism, local agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions.

“These organizations are allowed to open at 33 percent capacity. They've really just been given permission to begin to open. Again, safety plans, masks, cleaning, those will be very important,” said Flindt.

Low risk indoor arts and entertainment includes indoor museums, historical sites, aquariums, and art galleries.

“Indoor organizations are allowed to open at 25 percent capacity,” said Flindt.

The webinar included a connotation that stated the low risk indoor and outdoor entertainment does not include casinos, concerts, movie theaters, performing arts, and other theatrical productions.

Flidnt ended the overview by saying, “We wish all of organizations the best of luck.”

To watch the entire webinar, visit the Commerce Chenango YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzanfPTNjvcGrWzst7gfg-g




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