Picente Wants to Reopen Entire Economy with Masks, Distancing
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says he isn't interested in micromanaging your life and thinks government leaders, namely Governor Cuomo, should stop trying to do so.
Picente spoke to loca media on Tuesday, one of his twice-a-week LIVE briefings on the pandemic, and was quite critical of Cuomo while also saying he and other upstate leaders still await a nod from the governor on whether or not they'll be allowed to move to Phase 3 this Friday.
He noted that Cuomo on his own has allowed restaurants to reopen for outdoor service, an industry that wasn't slated to serve patrons in person until Phase 3. A similar move came late last week with schools when Cuomo offered limited guidance on how smaller schools could host graduation ceremonies.
''We were gonna go in Phases, but the Phases have moved.''
As he has bemoaned before, Picente said local government leaders and the business community are given no time to prepare for what new restrictions Cuomo might lift, or put in place during his daily briefings.
''Certain activities we are told are not okay, then the Governor says they're okay,'' Picente said.
''I don't know what's going to happen, it's literally changing overnight,'' Picente said, pointing to changes in direction from Cuomo on religious services, school graduations and more.
Picente said Tuesday that with the exception of mass gatherings, he'd like the entire Mohawk Valley economy to be allowed to reopen now - but with masks, social distancing and hygiene restrcitions in place.
The county executice said the Mohawk Valley Region's numbers metrics fall within the guidelines set forth by Cuomo and said the region should be allowed to move to Phase 3 on Friday.
But, will we?
We'll all have to wait and see.
Also during his briefing on Tuesday, Picente shared the sad news that two more county residents had died from COVID-19, both nursing home patients. To date, Oneida County has lost 64 residets to the virus. Nearly 80% of those deaths have been elderly residents in nursing homes.
Additionally, the county reports 16 new positive, lab confirmed COVID-19 cases since Monday bringing the total number of cases to 1,166. Of the 16 new cases, 5 are nursing home related, Picente said, adding that the county is working to create a Nursing Home Task Force to better protect that population, especially in the case of a 'second wave' of coronavirus this fall.