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The East End needs Phase Four reopening now, according to the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, which has announced a a press conference Tuesday at noon outside the Long Island Aquarium to demand the reopening.

The Long Island Region entered Phase One of the New York Forward four-phase reopening plan on May 27 and is “on track” to enter Phase Two on Wednesday, June 10, according to state officials. If all goes well — if the number of new infections and hospitalizations do not increase in the two weeks following, Long Island would enter Phase Three on June 24 and, again after a two-week interval, Phase Four on July 8.

“We have a unique micro-economic region that is being ignored by Albany,” the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce said in a press release.

Being closed for both Memorial Day and Fourth of July would have a devastating impact on many local businesses that depend on the summer season to survive each year, according to Riverhead Chamber of Commerce president Bob Kern. Loss of the summer season means a $6 billion loss to the regional economy, Kern said.

“The current phasing is causing overcrowding on the East End. We must increase the number of places and businesses open to accommodate the people visiting our region,” the chamber said. “It’s urgent that we keep our tourists and community safe by opening to Phase Four now.”

The Riverhead Chamber is calling on all business owners, chambers and their members and residents to attend the press conference and said it encourages all businesses and chamber groups to bring their banners.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.