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Phase One reopening greeted with caution, some confusion in Wantagh


Select businesses in Seaford and Wantagh finally reopened on Wednesday, as the region encompassing Nassau and Suffolk counties cleared the final hurdles that had kept them shuttered.

With hospital mortality rates low enough and the number of contact tracers high enough under the seven-point criteria set by New York and its neighboring states, businesses ranging from florists to sporting goods to landscaping have been allowed to reopen under certain conditions.

D’Angelo’s Sporting Goods, in Wantagh, remained closed, due to confusion about what was allowed and what was not. “I don’t know if I can have customers in the store or if it’s curbside pick-up only,” co-owner Mike D’Angelo said. “It’s very confusing.”

D’Angelo said his store would remain closed to retail customers for the time being. “We’ll probably open up in a couple of weeks,” once he and his wife and co-owner, Christine, can ensure that doing so complies with state regulations.

D’Angelo's specializes in darts, pool cues and pool supplies and baseball cards and accessories.

Little Shop of Flowers, also in Wantagh, is open for curbside business — “strictly no-touch,” according to Bob, who declined to give his last name.

When asked to sum up the impact of he quarantine on his business, he said simply that it had been “horrible.”

Lifestyles Sports, on Wantagh Avenue, fared better than many of its competitors. Because it also sells equipment used in physical therapy, it was classified as an essential business and was able to remain open throughout the shutdown, Taylor Kruter said.

Kruter, whose family owns the business, said the two-month closure definitely had a negative effect, with fewer customers than usual. And, like many businesses, Lifestyles has begun developing a web strategy in case the quarantine has to be imposed again.

With Long Island’s opening, only New York City remains under strict quarantine. But any region that fails to maintain the standards set by the state will be locked down again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in announcing the openings.

"As more regions of the state begin reopening," Cuomo tweeted Tuesday, "we are carefully monitoring health data to make sure that everything is going in the right direction. We rely on science and data to guide us — not emotion or politics."

If the number of deaths, hospitalizations and new Covid-19 cases remains stable or declines for two weeks, a region can move on to the next phase of reopening.