Much less emotion and fire coming from Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente on Friday, just hours after excoriating Governor Cuomo for his attempt to delay Phase 2 openings in several upstate regions.

On Thursday night, Picente lashed out saying he wouldn't penalize or stop Phase 2 businesses set to open Friday from doing so. Then, after Cuomo's briefing Friday afternoon where he said he'd now approved the openings, the Oneida County executive chose to look forward rather than pile-on. But he did address his fervor from the prior evening.

''My job is to protect this community and stand up for this community. I'm not going to apologize for that,'' Picente said, ''I felt [local businesses] were getting shortchanged.''

Later, when asked if he expected any backlash from Cuomo - possibly in the form of a breakdown in the working relationship with his office and the govenor's, or something else - Picente said he did not expect that to be the case, adding ''I respect the governor...but I'm not going to walk on eggshells.''

After speaking with Cuomo's budget director, Robert Mujica, on Friday, Picente said he was assured there would be better communication going forward. Picente said he believed the communication would be better, as the Mohawk Valley Region, hopefully, would be able to enter Phase 3 in two weeks. But to get there, Picente reminded everyone to stay the course, saying 'it's the reason we go here.' That includes mask wearing, social distancing and not congregating, he said.

Friday's numbers:

Oneida County announced 28 new positive cases on Friday, bringing the total number to date to 979 (one case previously announced was removed after further investigation).

Of the 28 new postive cases, seven came from nursing homes, Picente said. Also, the county's COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 46.


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