A line of close to 50 cars had formed at Augusta Presbyterian Church last week when the church handed out 60 pizza meals for free in less than 15 minutes.
Both Madison and Oneida counties received the go-ahead to begin loosening the restrictions of New York on Pause last Friday.
Oneida County, in the Mohawk Valley region, and Madison County, in the Central New York region, had met seven of the seven criteria established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for areas of the state to follow Phase One. Five regions in the state began to take steps forward after two months of shut down.
Under Phase One, the following types of business can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery only. Customers are not allowed to enter stores to shop.
Stores that sell the following could reopen: clothing, electronics, appliances, furniture and home furnishings, florists, general merchandise, health and personal care, jewelry, lawn and garden equipment, office supplies, stationery, and gifts, used merchandise, shoes, sporting goods, hobby items, musical instruments and books.
In addition, construction, manufacturing and wholesale businesses can reopen. The three other regions that qualified for Phase One are the Finger Lakes, North Country and Southern Tier.
Each business that reopens is required to register with the state and provide a plan to protect employees and customers. New York’s requirements to wear a facemask when in public and to socially distance remain in place.
Templates for the business plan can be found on the Mohawk Valley EDGE website at www.mvedge.org, which also includes guidelines for the Phase 1 opening.
However, Cuomo cautioned this first step was not a return to completely normal. “Phased reopening does not mean the problem has gone away. It means we have controlled the problem because of what we did," Cuomo said during a daily…