Southern Tier Reopening: Important Updates September 4, 2020

*Up-to-date information as of today’s date.

All information is subject to change in accordance with New York Foward Guidelines.*

 

Phase 1 Reopening Date: May 15, 2020 – limited industries see below

 

Phase 2 Reopening Date: May 29, 2020 – limited industries see below

 

Phase 3 Reopening Date: June 12, 2020 – limited industries see below

 

Phase 4 Reopening Date: June 26, 2020 – limited industries see below

 

*All Essential workers will continue operating under current protocols*

 

The following seven (7) metrics must be met:

– 14 day decline in hospitalizations OR under 15 new hospitalizations (3-day average)
– 14 day decline in hospitalized deaths OR under 5 new (3 day average)
– New hospitalizations – under 2 per 100K residents (3 day rolling average)
– Share of total beds available (threshold of 30%)
– Share of ICU beds available (threshold of 30%)
– 30 per 1k residents tested monthly (7 day average of new tests per day)
– 30 contact tracers per 100k residents or to meet current infection rate

 

This reopening phase is regionally driven and monitored by the members of Southern Tier “Regional Control Room”

 

A Regional Reopening Dashboard has been created to monitor public health metrics.

 

Phase 1 Industries Include:

– Construction (those deemed “non-essential” can now open)
– Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
– Retail- curbside pickup
– Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
– Higher Education Research

 

Phase 2 Industries Include:

– All Office-Based Jobs
– Real Estate Services
– Commercial Building Management
– Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
– Retail – In-Store Shopping
– Limited Barbershop and Hair Salon Services

 

Phase 3 Industries Include:
– Restaurants/Food Services – In-person dining
– Personal Care

 

Phase 4 Industries Include:
– Low-risk Indoor and Outdoor Arts and Entertainment
– Film and TV Production
– Higher Education
– Professional Sports (without fans)
– Malls (As of July 10)
– Casinos (As of  September 9)

 

Businesses will have to create a physical work plan considering the following factors:

– Adjusted workplace hours and shift design
– Social distancing
– Non-essential travel restrictions
– Wearing masks if in frequent contact with others
– Strict cleaning and sanitation standards
– Continuous health screenings
– Continuous tracing, tracking, and reporting
– Liability for maintaining processes

 

The Governor announced the NYS Contact Tracing Initiative with an overview of the program and other related resources: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-contact-tracing

 

HOW TO AFFIRM YOUR REOPENING PLAN: An online portal to review, acknowledge, and affirm creation of a plan has been launched at nyforward@exec.ny.gov.

A coronavirus hotline has been established to report employers NOT FOLLOWING required PPE, hygiene or social distancing guidelines: 1-888-364-3065.

 

*Essential service industires that have been working during this must also affirm and certify on the online portal*

 

NEW INFORMATION REGARDING INDUSTRY SECTOR DETERMINATION: A new tool is now available to help companies determine whether or not a business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which a business must comply.

 

This tool uses information about the company County and NAICS code. To access it, please visit: https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward

 

NY will also reopen statewide limited low-risk businesses and recreational activities as of May 15 including:

– Landscaping and gardening
– Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities such as tennis so long as social distancing and proper hygiene are being enforced
– Drive- in movie theaters so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting procedures are in place

 

 

PLEASE READ: ADDITIONAL ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE UPDATED DAILY

 

This essential business guidance shall remain in effect for the regions and industries that are not yet within the reopening phases. Revisions to the essential guidance are as follows:

 

– The CDC has released and Agency Order temporary halting all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read the order here.
– School districts are required to report number of known positive cases beginning Tuesday, Sept 8. This information will be made available to the public here beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9.
– Casinos are permitted to open at 25% capacity beginning September 9.
– Reopening guidelines for personal care facilities have been updated to include services that require patrons to remove their mask. Review the changes here.
– New state guidance for agritourism has been posted to the New York Forward website and can be reviewed here.
– The NYS quarantine order for travel from a state with a positive test rate in excess of 10% has been updated. The following is an exhaustive list of states and territories included as of Sept 4, 2020:
– Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin
– Failure to self-quarantine for 14 days can result in a $2,000 fine.
– If colleges have 100 cases or if the number of cases equal 5 percent of their population or more, they must go to remote learning for two weeks. Further guidance for colleges is available here.
– Local elected officials are permitted to make the decision to allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen at 33 percent capacity, while following rigorous safety protocols including wearing masks at all times, beginning Monday, August 24th.
– Bowling allies are permitted to open in regions within Phase 4 of reopening at 50% capacity starting Monday, August 17th.
– The NYS quarantine order for travel from a state with a positive test rate in excess of 10% has been updated. The following is an exhaustive list of states and territories included as of August 17th, 2020:
– Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina. South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin
– Failure to self-quarantine for 14 days can result in a $2,000 fine.
– The NYS quarantine order for travel from a state with a positive test rate in excess of 10% has been updated. The following is an exhaustive list of states included as of July 21:
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
– Under current law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages. Restaurants can be subjected to a fine for not following/enforcing mask and social distancing measures.
– Enforcement teams will be stationed at port authority and regional airports beginning Tuesday, July 14th to request proof of completion of state DOH traveler form
– Interim guidance for in-person instruction at pre-k to grade 12 has been released on the New York Forward website and can be found here.
– Concessions at ocean and lake beaches are now permitted to open, consumers must follow mask and social distancing guidelines.
– Malls that are greater than 800,000 square feet are required to ensure the building HVAC system filtration meets the highest rated filtration compatible with currently installed systems.
– The NYS quarantine order for travel from a state with a positive test rate in excess of 10% has been updated. The following is an exhaustive list of states included as of July 7:
– Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah
-Failure to self-quarantine for 14 days can result in a $2,000 fine.
– State pools and recreational aquatic spray grounds are now open. Social distancing measures must be practiced and face masks must be worn when unable to social distance, unless in the water. Groups are to be limited to ten or fewer individuals on the premise or in the water.
– Individuals from a state with significant rates of transmission that come to New York for a professional sports activity (e.g., player, coach, training staff, support staff, league staff) may travel to the extent necessary to participate in the activity, but must otherwise remain quarantined.
-Further guidance on professional sports teams and training facilities can   be read and affirmed here.
– Social gatherings of 50 people are permitted under Phase IV regulations.
– Indoor religious gatherings can now operate at 33% capacity.
– All travelers entering New York from a state with a higher than 10% test positivity rate, over a seven day rolling average, are required to quarantine for a period of 14 days.
– Workers who voluntarily travel to any of states with a COVID-19 infection rate higher than 10% – who then become quarantined by a public health official as a result – would not be eligible for NYS emergency paid sick leave.
– Low-risk/moderate-risk youth sports for regions in Phase 3 of reopening can begin on July 6th, except for competitive tournaments requiring travel. A maximum of two spectators per child are permitted to attend.
– High-risk youth sports are only permitted in individual or distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training. For guidance on what ESD determines low or high risk, please review the Statewide Guidelines.
– The special open enrollment for the New York State of Health – Health Plan Marketplace has been extended for an additional 30 days through July 15, 2020.
– Operators and administrators of all nursing homes and long care facilities located in regions that have met Phase 2 metrics are required to test all employees for COVID-19 once per week.
– If the original budget proposed by a school district is not approved by the voters at an election held on June 9, 2020, any resubmission to the voters of the original or revised budget shall be conducted at a later date (TBD). The revote shall not occur before July 9, 2020.
– Guidance for Phase 3 Industries, which includes restaurants/food service and personal care, has been released here. Phase 3 metrics have still yet to be achieved at this time.
– Hair salons and barber shops opened under Phase 2 must affirm Phase 3 personal care guidelines, including if they had already affirmed Phase 2 guidelines; businesses must comply with the industry guidance as it applies to their operations.
– Higher education research has been included under Phase 1 of reopening. Summary and specific guidelines are available under Phase 1 on the New York Forward website.
Statewide guidelines have been updated to include information on childcare and day camps, public transportation, and professional sports training facilities.
– The definition of outdoor dining has been updated to include dining under both fixed roofs and retracting or removable types of roofs.
– New York State will now allow outdoor graduations with up to 150 participants and attendees beginning June 26th.
– Houses of worship are permitted to hold non-essential gatherings at no greater than 25% of the indoor capacity under Phase 2; social distancing and DOH cleaning and disinfection protocols are required to be followed.
– Local government offices may bring non-essential employees back to work two weeks after meeting the metrics to reopen Phase 2.
– Commercial building owners and retail stores shall have the discretion to require individuals to undergo temperature checks prior to being allowed admittance; admittance may be denied if any individual refuses to undergo the temperature check or if the temperature reads above DOH guidelines.
– Under Phase 2, restaurants are permitted to begin outdoor dining services provided customers can be seated at tables that are appropriately distanced.
– Operators of auto racetracks may begin operations June 3, provided only essential personnel or participants are allowed on site; visitors or spectators are not permitted within the facilities or on premises.
– Regions that have met Phase 1 metrics of reopening are permitted to allow outdoor, low-risk recreational activities. Businesses providing such activities, as determined by Empire State Development, are permitted to operate.
– Governor Cuomo announced that beginning June 29, summer day camps may open for operation. No decision has been made at this time on the reopening of sleep away camps.
– Dentists can reopen statewide as of June 1 and will be subject to state guidance on best practices for safety and social distancing.
– The Department of Motor Vehicles is to resume limited remote services via mail and secure drop boxes. Commercial road tests are permitted to resume in all regions that have reopened and all other road tests are to resume in Phase 3.
– As of May 28, businesses are permitted to deny entry to individuals not wearing masks or face-coverings.
– New York State is permitting certain commercial and recreational activities to operate statewide with restrictions. Refer to the New York Forward Statewide Guidelines for more specific regulations regarding Lake and Ocean Beaches, Religious and Funeral Services, and Racing.

      • Indoor religious and funeral services are permitted to resume with a limit/capacity of 10 participants. Social distancing, hygiene, and PPE regulations must be followed.
      • Lake and ocean beaches are required to reduce capacity by at least 50%, ensure physical distancing of six feet between individuals and ten feet between family/household blankets, and follow both PPE and hygiene regulations.
      • All participants and non-essential staff are restricted from attending racing or training programs. All physical distancing, PPE, and hygiene regulations are to be followed.

– Families of front-line workers who died of COVID 19 will be provided death benefits.
– New York professional sports leagues will begin training camps
– A blue-ribbon commission focused on improving telehealth and broadband access has been established
– Campgrounds are now open for “family” camping – i.e. this does NOT apply to summer day camping programs
– Veterinarian services are open – emergency and non-emergency.
– Summer school will be conducted through distance learning
– The sales tax filing deadline has been extended to June 22, 2020
– Watkins Glen International and Tioga Downs (horse racetrack) were given authorization to open without spectators effective June 1, 2020.
– Acupuncture, prescribed by a medical professional, has been added
– Retail, in regions that are not within the first phase of the state’s regional re-opening plan, delivery for orders placed remotely via phone or online at non-essential retail establishments; provided, however, that only one employee is physically present at the business location to fulfill orders has been added
– Services, auto maintenance has been added along with auto repair; pet grooming to maintain the animal’s health has been added; gardening and horticulture has been added
– Services to maintain the health, safety, and sanitation, specialized maintenance, including but not limited to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and pool maintenance has been added; cleaning and sanitation services has been added; occupational safety and health professionals has been added; commercial moving services has been added
– Non-motorized boat use and rentals, such as row boats, kayaks, canoes; and golf and driving ranges, except miniature (mini) golf, with food and retail services subject to the restrictions that are currently in effect within the region;
– Some personal care will be considered “professional service” and can be open in Phase 2 including hair salons. Other things such nail, massage, tattoo parlors and others TBD
– Pet Grooming has always been deemed essential the service is “directly related to the health and well-being of the animal”
– Churches can screen for “drive through” services
– Optometry is considered essential but non-emergency dental is not
– Municipalities can operate under 50% capacity but must adhere to all state guidelines
– DMVs will remain closed by EO that was extended to 6/6/20; Guidance on commercial (CDL) licensing forthcoming
– Guidance has not yet provided guidance on summer camps but are reviewing and expect to be released in June

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING TO PREPARE:

– Develop your reopening work plan: A physical plan must be created and kept on-site at your place of business;
– Review existing policies/procedures related to reopening: remote work policies, technology usage, insurance coverage, other;
– Consult with your industry association and/or attorney on any changes to employment law;
– Begin communication with employees as often and as soon as possible so they know what will change, what will be expected of them.
– To send outreach to the NY Forward Reopening Advisory Board: email nyf@exec.ny.gov

 

We’re all in this together. Remember: the actions we take today will either help or hinder our recovery.

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