Try listening to the story instead of reading it!

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he is signing the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8 PM on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

Governor Cuomo also announced “Matilda’s Law” – named for the Governor’s mother – to protect New York’s most vulnerable populations, including individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses. The measure requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance. If it is necessary to visit such individuals, the visitor should get prescreened by taking temperature and seeing if a person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms. Both individuals should wear a mask for the duration of the visit.

The Governor also announced a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions.

Additionally, amid a shortage of personal protective equipment — or PPE — products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, the Governor is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used. Businesses interested in selling products to the state should contact Simonida Subotic at 646-522-8477 or covid19supplies@exec.ny.gov. 

The Governor is also encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel. Businesses interested in receiving state funding to manufacture PPE products should contact Eric Gertler at 212-803-3100 or COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

“We know the most effective way to reduce the spread of this virus is through social distancing and density reduction measures,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have said from the start that any policy decision we make will be based on the facts, and as we get more facts we will calibrate our response accordingly. This executive order builds on the actions we have taken to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the wellbeing of our friends, colleagues, and neighbors. But again, I want to remind New Yorkers that the panic we are seeing is outpacing the reality of the virus — and we will get through this period of time together.”  

The Governor’s 10-point NYS on PAUSE plan is as follows: 

  1. Effective at 8 PM on Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed;
  2. Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
  3. Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced;
  4. When in public individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others;
  5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
  6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
  7. Individuals should limit the use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
  8. Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
  9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
  10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using isopropyl alcohol wipes.

“Matilda’s Law” includes the following rules for vulnerable populations:

  • Remain indoors;
  • Can go outside for solitary exercise;
  • Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperature and seeing if a person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms;
  • Do not visit households with multiple people;
  • Wear a mask when in the company of others;
  • To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask;
  • Always stay at least six feet away from individuals; and
  • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.

Finally, the Governor confirmed 2,950 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 7,102 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 7,102 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, there are two now in Herkimer County.

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for-profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.

(Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health).

This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business and steps to request such designation. With respect to businesses or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions. 

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” means:

1. Essential Health Care Operations, Including:

  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

2. Essential Infrastructure, Including:

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential Manufacturing, Including:

  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products

4. Essential Retail, Including:

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

5. Essential Services, Including:

  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters

6. News Media

7. Financial Institutions, Including:

  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  • services related to financial markets

8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:

  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support

9. Construction, Including:

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers 
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

10. Defense

  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:

  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection

12. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:

  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government-owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.

Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained. 

Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

To request designation as an essential business, please click here.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.
  • Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance.