The Wrap Up – May 15, 2020

Five Upstate Regions Beginning Phase 1 Reopening Today

Five upstate New York regions – the North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier – have begun Phase 1 reopening operations.  For the remaining five regions – Western New York, the Capital Region, the Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island – “New York State on PAUSE” business restrictions and social protocols have been extended through May 28.  Governor Cuomo today stated that if any of the five currently closed regions hits the required COVID-19 benchmarks between now and May 28, that region also will be approved for Phase 1 reopening. 

The Governor reiterated that local governments will be in charge of managing the reopening process.  This includes a daily monitoring of COVID-19 metrics that the State is posting online, enforcing business compliance and social distancing protocols, maintaining required testing and tracing, and responding to inquiries and public health developments through the regional control rooms.

Additional Guidelines and Protocols for Phase 1 Businesses

The Governor today announced additional reopening guidelines for Phase 1 businesses.  A full list of guidelines can be found here.  The additional guidelines announced today are as follows:

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 vehicle 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

Multi-State Agreement to Reopen Beaches for Memorial Day Weekend

New York State has reached a multi-state agreement with New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware to reopen beaches for Memorial Day Weekend.  State and local beaches and lakeshores were provided minimum conditions for operating, as were city, town and county beaches.  The press release containing these requirements can be found here

Federal Assistance and State Budget Cuts

The Governor previously has stated that New York State will be forced to make 20 percent across-the-board cuts to schools, local governments and hospitals unless it receives sufficient federal assistance in the next stimulus bill.  When asked today about the timing of these potential cuts, the Governor remained evasive, implying that he will await federal action before making his own budget adjustments.

COVID-19 Numbers                                                     

Thankfully, we continue to remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 132 since yesterday.