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COVID-19: NY Unveils Phase 1 Reopening Rules For Business Sectors

Five of New York's 10 regions, (shown in orange), including New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, will stay on pause at least two more weeks.
Five of New York's 10 regions, (shown in orange), including New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, will stay on pause at least two more weeks. Photo Credit: ny.gov

Five of 10 regions in New York have been given the green light to start reopening select businesses - with certain restrictions - as the state begins kickstarting the economy amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a list of seven metrics that regions throughout the state must meet before being allowed to slowly begin reopening their economies.

Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier were all permitted to reopen on Friday, May 15. Western New York, New York City, the mid-Hudson, Long Island, and Capital Region have not met the seven benchmarks.

The NYS on Pause order has been extended through Thursday, May 28 for the regions that haven’t hit the metrics. Once a region hits all seven metrics, they will be allowed to reopen, regardless of the order.

The following businesses have will be the first to kickstart the economy, under certain guidelines: 

Residential/Commercial Construction:

  • All workers must have masks and wear them when within six feet of another worker;
  • Employers must provide masks to all employees;
  • No congregate meetings.

Retail Business Owners - Curbside Pickup:

  • Employee and purchaser in vehicles must wear a mask, gloves preferred;
  • Hand sanitizer must be made available.

Retail Business Owners - In-Store Pickup:

  • Requires ordering ahead - pre-arranged orders;
  • Social distancing required in store;
  • No more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy;
  • Patrons must wear masks;
  • Store employees must wear masks, gloves preferred;
  • Hand sanitizer must be made available.

"Throughout this entire pandemic, New Yorkers have stepped up to the plate and done a great job of working together to bend the curve, and today half the regions in the state will begin to reopen," Cuomo said. "These regions have met the seven criteria needed for reopening. 

"As soon as other regions hit those benchmarks they can begin phase one of reopening as well. As we move forward with this process," he continued. "it is up to all of us to understand our personal responsibility - that's how this worked from day one and that's how we will continue to slow the spread of the virus and start our new normal."

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