5.11 COVID-19 Bulletin: WNY Economy Moving Closer to Reopening

Western New York’s economy is moving closer to reopening. Governor Cuomo reported today that WNY has met five of the seven criteria necessary for a phased reopening.  Regions meeting all criteria can begin to reopen on this coming Friday, May 15.

As of today, WNY is not eligible because we do not meet the following criteria:

  • 14-day decline in hospitalizations OR under 15 new hospitalizations (on a three-day average)
  • 14-day decline in hospital deaths OR fewer than five deaths (on a three-day rolling average)


Three regions of the state – Finger Lakes (Rochester), Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley – have met all seven metrics.  A breakdown of the criteria WNY is meeting and how we compare to other regions in NYS can be found HERE.  The phased reopening would be based on the following industry schedule:

Phase One

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail – Curbside Pickup
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting


Phase Two

  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Administrative Support
  • Real Estate/Rental & Leasing


Phase Three

  • Restaurants/Food Services


Phase Four

  • Arts/Entertainment/Recreation
  • Education


Details on specific business types under the Phase One reopening plan can be found HERE.

As reported last week, New York State will set up a ‘control room’ in each region for state and local elected officials, as well as public health officials to monitor reopening criteria.

The Governor also released his “NY Forward Reopening” plan and announced that certain businesses and activities deemed low-risk by the state including landscaping, tennis and drive-in movie theaters will reopen statewide on May 15.


The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to providing employers with the latest information and resources to help you deal with COVID-19 and its impact on our community, state and nation. Visit our Resource Page, as it is updated regularly to provide you with the most current information.

Have additional business questions?  We’ve got answers through the BNP Business Link, our new rapid response portal.  Get connected to our team of subject matter experts, supported by expert member companies ready to confidentially answer your pressing business concerns.

Please check our events page often as new webisodes are added in response to local business needs during these evolving times.


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