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Malverne mayor discusses Phase Three preparations

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Nassau is on track to begin Phase Three reopening of businesses on Wednesday, according to County Executive Laura Curran and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett said he had worked closely with both Cuomo and Curran’s office to discuss plans about outdoor dining.

“We wanted these places to come back better than ever,” Corbett said. “We were very proactive with the information we gathered, and we work with each business individually to devise the best plan for them.”

During the third phase, restaurants will be permitted to open for inside, in-person dining, provided employees and patrons wear masks, and six feet of social distancing is maintained between tables. Spas will also be allowed to reopen.

Restaurants will only be permitted to reopen indoors at 50 percent capacity, according to the governor’s New York Forward website. The maximum number of people per table will be 10.

Spas will also only be able to open at 50 percent capacity, with safety protocols. Waiting rooms will be closed.

“For our restaurants, it’s really going to be less than 50 percent inside, because we still want to maintain six feet,” Corbett said. “That’s the reason why we opted to use parking lots for outdoor dining, because you can fit more tables there. So far, it’s been great to see how packed our businesses are. We need these businesses to survive in our downtown area.”

Corbett said he met with the Malverne Chamber of Commerce regularly to discuss steps to take, as well as information he received from Cuomo and Curran’s offices. He said that the village was fortunate to have many of its businesses deemed as essential. Corbett added that the village’s initiative, the “Malverne get and go,” also helped to keep small businesses afloat. The initiative, which started in March, urges residents who are in need of food or supplies to go straight to the store, and then straight home.

“That in itself was a huge benefit to our businesses,” Corbett said.

Seven New York regions have already entered Phase Three. Only Long Island, New York City and Mid-Hudson have not.

Cuomo said at his daily briefing on June 18 that he was in a “happy-go-lucky mood” because New York had tested 68,000 people overnight and found an average infection rate of .9 percent — the lowest it had been since the coronavirus pandemic began in mid-March.

New York City’s infection rate was 1 percent, while Long Island’s was .7 percent.

By contrast, the infection rate had earlier reached 20 percent in New York City and 16 percent on Long Island.

The governor insisted that businesses must keep up coronavirus safeguards. He issued an executive order on June 18 giving local authorities the power to immediately shut down businesses that do not maintain safety protocols. Bars and restaurants that do not can lose their liquor licenses.