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Long Island Begins To Reopen, Starting With Construction Industry

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Long Island will start to reopen parts of its economy this week after the region reported a declining number of deaths due to coronavirus. It’s part of a statewide economic phase-in plan.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says the first phase will be to get construction started again.

“Getting working people back to work, the builders, the construction workers, everyone back to work. That’s incredibly important. It’s also a good symbol for forward progress when we can see things getting built again.”

Curbside retail and agriculture will also resume.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says it’s a significant development for hundreds of farms after more than 80 days of shutdown. 

“Agriculture, very important for us out in Suffolk County, particularly on the East End. Forestry, fishing, hunting, and wholesale trade, all of those parts of our economy back online.”

Bellone says the county’s contact tracers will play a key role in the reopening. They will monitor for new cases of the virus and help prevent a second wave of infection. 

New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky agreed on the importance of safety precautions.

“This is definitely a hopeful time. But we all have to continue to wear our masks and social distance and wash our hands and do all the right things to continue this trajectory.”

Kaminsky says he hopes Long Island can begin phase two of reopening in two weeks, which would allow businesses like banks, accounting and real estate to resume.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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