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Niagara County on track to begin Phase 3 reopening Tuesday

Niagara County

The total number of COVID-19 cases is dropping across New York State and in Niagara County, where there are only nine new cases reported Wednesday.

That keeps the county on the glide path to opening Phase Three on Tuesday, that is, indoor dining in bars and restaurants and an array of personal care shops like nail repair shops and others.

Credit Niagara County

"As early as Tuesday, we should be getting that green light to enter Phase Three reopening of businesses, which we all want to see," said Niagara County Legislature Chair Becky Wydysh during her daily briefing Wednesday. "Phase Three should include things like restaurants and food service opening up more and more of the personal care options that you're looking forward to. Of course, we're going to be focused on the reopening of restaurants in the area. We know this is a big one for indoor dining. Outdoor dining has been going well."

Credit Niagara County

There remain issues of people hit by the virus and the economic crash of shutting down the state. Wydysh said people with food supply issues are getting some help.

"Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County is going to be doing a second round of their Farmers to Families food box giveaway," she said. "That's scheduled for this Friday, June 12, starting at 10 a.m. and will run until they run out of food boxes. They did this a few weeks ago and ran out around 1 p.m. and so we do encourage you to go early."

Wydysh said the food giveaways will be held in Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda.

She said the county is also trying to help barbers and beauty shops get up and running under state rules by offering face goggles to protect the operators.

"You are now allowed to wear a face mask, that covering over your nose and mouth, along with goggles, if you prefer that over the face shield," she said. "We do have about 1,000 pairs of goggles at our Emergency Management Department that we have available for hair salons and barber shops if you need them to get your business up and running."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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