Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his new ‘Cluster Action Initiative’ on Tuesday, saying it would currently apply to five clusters across the state, none of them are in Western New York according to NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV).

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If a cluster does pop up in or around Buffalo, the resulting impact on businesses could be devastating for our area. But...

“As long as we’re communicating with the business community and being consistent in our rules and regulations, I think everybody is acknowledging and aware that we do have a public health crisis going on right now,” said A.J. Baynes, President and CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.

The initiative calls for three levels of restrictions in and around places experiencing a high density, of COVID-19 cases. The inner-most zone, the Red Zone, would be the focal point of the cluster. In that zone, houses of worship would only be allowed 25% capacity, or at a 10 person maximum. Mass gatherings would be prohibited. Essential businesses would be allowed to open. Restaurants would shift to a takeout only...with schools switching to remote only instruction.

While restaurants in affected areas of the state are preparing a shift to takeout only, Chef’s Restaurant in Buffalo is set to open to indoor dining once again on Thursday 10/8 after previously only being open for takeout.

“It’s exciting to be opening again,” said Chef’s owner Mary Beth Billittier. “But it’s very nerve-racking. You just don’t know where you’re going to be.”

The restaurant is scheduled to be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Rev. Darius Pridgen, the senior pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church, admits the Governor's plan may not be perfect.

“It doesn’t stop, for instance, if a neighborhood is closed down, a church from worshiping somewhere else,” Pridgen said. “Is that a flaw? Is that a go-around? Possibly. But I think that as a community, we have to support that at least there’s a plan.”