Task force created to manage reopening of St. Lawrence County


ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) – A county-wide task force is bringing together business organizations, economic development officials, government leaders and public health experts to help guide County and regional efforts to reopen the county’s economy as quickly and safely as possible.

“Our goal and desire is to ensure that when St Lawrence County is finally and fully reopened we are confident that we have done everything we could to ensure the health and safety of our residents and visitors. That has been our number one concern,” said St. Lawrence County Legislature Chair Joseph Lightfoot, who appointed the working group. The group is working in cooperation with the County to coordinate restart activities with the Regional Control Room appointed by the Governor.

“We are working to reopen in a way that lowers the risks posed by this pandemic while allowing our businesses and our citizens to get back to work,” said St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency CEO Patrick Kelly, who has been appointed Chair of the group.

The task force membership includes:

  • Patrick Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency
  • Brooke Rouse, Executive Director, St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
  • Dale Rice, Director, SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center
  • Patrick Ames, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County
  • Dr. Andrew Williams, MD, Chair, St. Lawrence County Board of Public Health
  • Ruth Doyle, St. Lawrence County Administrator
  • Dr. Dana Olzenak McGuire, PhD, St. Lawrence County Public Health Director
  • Legislator James Reagen (R-Ogdensburg), Public Affairs Aide to Senator Patty Ritchie
  • Legislator Nance Arquiett, (D-Stockholm), Business Owner, Public Information Officer
  • Legislator Rick Perkins, (D-Parishville), Businessperson

“The task force is helping to coordinate the local public health and economic development response and providing direction when it becomes available to help get accurate information to businesses, their employees and their customers,” Kelly said.

The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce website has information for business owners seeking local suppliers of business safety supplies and equipment.

The governor has issued new, extensive guidance to retail and other businesses that are allowed to open under Phase Two, which started for the North Country at 1pm today. The new guidelines can be found online here.

The following business categories have been approved for reopening as part of Phase Two of the State plan:

  • Offices
  • Real Estate
  • In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales, Leases & Rentals
  • Retail Rentals, Repairs and Cleaning
  • Commercial Building Maintenance
  • Hair Salons & Barber Shops

Businesses can utilize the State’s lookup tool to determine whether or not they are eligible for reopening as part of the State plan here.

Information regarding the County’s Public Health Department and updated COVID-19 tracking and resources is available here.

Businesses needing local help should contact:


Stay up-to-date by liking ABC50 on Facebook.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.