Initial plans called for Western New York to move into phase 2 of reopening next Tuesday.
Local and state officials did not commit to the date on Thursday and instead suggested an analysis of virus-related data is still needed to determine whether the original schedule will still be honored.
“We have received inquiries about ‘what day phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for WNY will start?’,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a Tweet on Thursday. “While it COULD possibly occur next week, NO date has been set because we need at least 2 weeks of data since phase 1 started. We don’t have that data yet, so no date is certain.”
During his daily coronavirus update, Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not speak directly to reopening in Western New York or other parts of the state.
Later in the day, during an appearance on a radio show in Albany, Cuomo noted that five of New York’s 10 regions are slated to move out of phase one today. Cuomo said virus-related data such as infection and hospitalization rates will be reviewed by state officials and international experts and a determination on whether Western New York or other regions move into the next phases of reopening will be made based on their recommendations.
The Niagara County Department of Health reported two more deaths and 19 more positive cases related to the novel coronavirus on Thursday.
During their daily briefing on the county’s response to the virus, county officials extended their sympathies to the family and friends of two more individuals who died from COVID-19, an 87-year-old female and a 67-year-old male, both with underlying health conditions. The disease death toll tabbed by Niagara County is now 65.
Data on deaths and presumed deaths at Niagara County nursing homes, as reported by the New York State Department of Health as of Wednesday, were as follows: Elderwood at Lockport, one confirmed death, no presumed deaths; Newfane Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, 18 confirmed deaths, seven presumed deaths; Niagara Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Niagara Falls, five confirmed deaths, no presumed deaths; Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence in Lewiston, three confirmed deaths, no presumed deaths; and Schoellkopf Health Center in Niagara Falls, four confirmed deaths, no presumed deaths.
County officials also reported 13 more positive cases, bringing the total to 1,033 countywide. The county had 285 active cases, including 270 isolating at home and 15 in area hospitals, as of Thursday. To date, county officials said, 683 residents have recovered from the disease and 11,776 residents have now been tested.