“I was very disappointed to learn that the entire Western New York REDC region will not be permitted to participate in the first phase of reopening following the expiration of NY on PAUSE on May 15. While infection rates in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties have consistently been among the lowest in the state throughout the COVID-19 crisis, our linkage with Erie County and its higher infection rates means that we don’t meet the metrics for reopening and our hurting, rural economies must remain shut down for at least another two weeks.
“Once again, we are seeing the damage inflicted by choosing a one-size-fits-all approach over a more flexible strategy that would address the reopening of counties with urban centers independently from the rest of the REDC zone. That was the approach of the Restarting New York plan that I introduced with my colleague, Andy Goodell, and the one that makes the most sense for regions like ours. Every passing day that we remain closed, the economic pain of our communities intensifies and the harder the climb back up will be, for both our residents and our businesses.”