WHITE PLAINS, NY — Westchester County enters Phase 2 of the state's reopening plans Tuesday. At his daily news conference Monday, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the county has well the others in the Mid-Hudson Region are a week behind the regions further upstate.
He said the in Phase 2 retail stores will be open to shoppers coming into stores, with some restrictions.
"The exception are those stores that are inside shopping malls," Latimer said. Anchor stores that have external entrances will be allowed to have customers come inside.
The stores will have to meet certain protocols such as requiring masks or face coverings and having social distancing.
Also opening in Phase 2 are administrative support functions, real estate offices, back of house operation, law firms, government offices.
Latimer said outdoor dining will be allowed to begin Tuesday, but it's still two weeks at least until the full opening of restaurants.
He said some municipalities are making available street dining for the restaurant that may not otherwise have outdoor dining, adding that local governments have the responsibility to allow that.
Latimer also said that beauty salons and barbershops will also be opening, though nail salons are still not scheduled to reopen.
Latimer said that the county continues to see progress regarding the new coronavirus.
The number of positive confirmed cases, as of Monday, now totals 34,000. That is an increase of 46 since Sunday.
Latimer said the number of active cases — those whose viral infection has not yet resolved — is 951. He said a week ago the number was 1,200; at peak, about 12,000.
The percentage of people tested for the virus is now 186,561. Only one out of five are now testing positive.
Latimer said a milestone was achieved over the weekend when there were no reported deaths Saturday. There were three fatalities Sunday, bringing the total number of 1,395.
There are only 168 people hospitalized with COVID-19-related illnesses. At the peak, there were 1,200 people in hospitals in the county.
"We have long since flattened the curve," Latimer said.
He said what the county and medical experts are concerned about now is that no actions are taken that will allow the virus to start spreading again.