More local businesses reopen amid orange zone restrictions, legal petition process continues

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ELMIRA, N .Y. (WETM) – Orange zone restrictions forced businesses to close and limited school’s ability to hold in-person learning.

Chemung County Executives and business owners are saying enough is enough.

Chemung County has been in the orange zone for about 12 weeks.

“In these municipalities counties across the state should be treated the same and have to abide by the same guidelines, so Chemung County doesn’t meet the current guidelines to be in orange. He should have removed that designation, or his office should have, long ago,” said Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss.

The county was initially told that the restrictions would only last 2 weeks.

On December 30th, Chemung County filed a 10-page petition with the New York supreme court to relieve the orange zone restrictions implemented by Governor Andrew Cuomo over the county’s Covid-19 cases.

“I believe last Friday the county had to file additional paperwork with the court and all arguments are scheduled to be heard possibly this Friday or next Monday,” said Moss.

In a recent interview with Governor Cuomo when asked why Chemung County is still in the orange zone, Cuomo said he didn’t recall.

Local restaurant owners are defying the orange zone restrictions by reopening their restaurants for indoor dining this week.

“To have the ability to go five minutes down the road and do dine-in, and then have a small pocket in Chemung County, that can’t do the same thing they can do five minutes from here isn’t going to help Covid. It was a flawed approach from the beginning and we needed to put our foot down, otherwise, we were risking closing our doors,” said Adam Bunce, the owner of Turtle Leaf Cafe.

18 News has since reached out to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office but has not yet heard back.

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