Though she is looking forward to going back to manning her K. DiResta Collective storefront in Sea Cliff, owner Kathleen DiResta said she supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to keep Long Island and New York City non-essential businesses closed until at least May 28 through the New York Pause program.
“I feel that safety for everybody is more important, so I support the extension,” said DiResta, who sells a variety of artwork and jewelry. “My business thankfully also relies on online sales, so I’ve been able to keep up with business somewhat through emailing customers and delivering goods.”
“Everybody wants to get back to work as quickly as possible for all the obvious reasons, but safety comes first, period,” said Steve Warshaw, an associate broker with Realty Connect and president of the Gold Coast Business Association. “You have to put the needs of the many in front of the needs of the one.”
The governor made the order on May 15, and it further states that all "enforcement mechanisms" of the NY Pause order remain in effect through June 13, "unless later extended."
Warshaw said he trusts Cuomo’s judgment, as he said he feels the governor is basing his decisions off of science and is doing so for the good of all New Yorkers.
DiResta said the closure of her storefront has provided a lot of ups and downs, especially because of the strangeness presented by her inability to directly interact with customers. However, she said she now has more time to focus on building her website, www.kdirestadesign.com, and online presence, something which had always been more of an afterthought to her. This, she said, could help her greatly in the long run.
“It allowed me to open up that avenue of sales and hopefully it’ll help me expand sales in the future.,” DiResta said. “I’ll still be seeing people in the store, but now people who don’t shop at the store will be able to shop online.”
The governor tweeted that five of New York's 10 regions had met the state's seven criteria for reopening as of May 15, but Long Island, one of the 10, had not.
Among the regions that began the reopening process on May 15 were the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Central New York.
"The others," Cuomo wrote, "can be UN-PAUSED the moment they hit their benchmarks."
"New Yorkers," he added, "be proud. Your actions bent the curve," meaning staying at home led to the current downward trend in new infections and hosptializations after spiking in early April.
Certain "low-risk" business activities such as landscaping and gardening, as well as drive-in movie theaters, were allowed to resume statewide on May 15. Certain outdoor recreation activities like tennis were permitted also.
How reopening will play out will depend on local conditions on the ground, according to the governor. To reopen, a region must meet a set of stringent guidelines, which include:
A 14-day decline in hospitalizations.
A 14-day decline in hospital deaths.
New hospitalizations kept to under 2 per 100,000 people.
Thirty percent of hospital beds available.
Thirty percent of intensive care unit beds available.
Thirty per 1,000 residents tested for the virus.
Thirty contact tracers in place for every 100,000 residents.
Long Island currently meets five of the seven criteria. It falls short on two — 14-day decline in hospital deaths and new hospitalizations under 2 per 100,000 — and like all other regions in the state, it is expected to have a sufficient number of contact tracers in place by the time it opens.
For regions that meet the state's criteria, reopening is to begin cautiously, the governor said, and will play out over the coming weeks in four stages:
Phase One: Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, select retail for curbside pickup only, and agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Phase Two: Professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support, and real estate, rental and leasing.
Phase Three: Restaurants and food services, beyond takeout and delivery.
Phase Four: Arts, entertainment and recreation, and education.
The state, Cuomo said, has created a New York Forward Reopening Advisory Board to help guide the reopening process.