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State says dentists can reopen; Nassau preps for Phase Two

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With the potential Phase Two reopening of Long Island’s economy a week and a half away, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order Sunday allowing dental offices to return to work statewide Monday, June 1.

At the same time, the governor said Friday that barbershops and hair salons would be included in the Phase Two reopening. Previously, they had not been.

The updated reopening timeline represents a continued drop in new coronavirus hospitalizations, intubations and deaths, according to the governor. Over the weekend, the number of overnight deaths fell to 56 — down from a high of 799 on April 9, he said. That is a 93 percent decline.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called the planned opening of barbershops and hair salons “great news,” and said the governor’s order allowing them to reopen gives “our business owners the certainty they need to reopen safely.”

In addition, Phase Two reopening, now scheduled on Long Island for June 10, will include:

Office-based work.

Real estate services.

In-store sales — currently curbside pickup is allowed.

Vehicle sales, leases and rentals.

Retail rental, repair and cleaning.

Commercial building management.

A big question on many Nassau residents’ minds has been, when will restaurants reopen for dining? Only takeout and curbside pickup are allowed now.

In-person dining can resume during the Phase Three reopening, which is scheduled to begin in Nassau June 24, if the number of hospitalizations and deaths remains steady or continues to drop.

Already Curran is planning for the reopening of restaurants. On Friday, she announced a plan to allow villages, towns and cities to shut down certain streets to facilitate al fresco dining, thus reducing the need for table capacity within eateries, enabling them to maintain six-foot social distancing. She is calling it “Open Streets.”

“Continuing the county’s efforts to support the revival of our downtowns and business districts,” the Nassau website reads, “the county will be fast-tracking permitting approvals for temporary road closures, with a decision within a week of receiving an application.

To apply, visit www.nassacountyny.gov/OpenStreets.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency is also spending roughly $500,000 to provide 1,000 local small businesses and nonprofits with personal protective equipment. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees, minority- and women-owned businesses, and businesses in economically distressed communities are eligible for the program.

Businesses can apply at www.nassauboost.net starting June 1.

All Nassau County businesses must, by state mandate, prepare reopening plans, detailing how they intend to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and ensure the safety of workers and customers.  The plan must include:

Wellness checks for employees and customers.

Disinfection and cleaning routines.

Social distancing protocols.

PPE supply for employees and customers.

All businesses must also affirm to the state that they agree to operate according to state safety mandates.