Columbia Comeback, in partnership with our community and business leaders, is committed to serve as a resource for Columbia County businesses as the county looks ahead to the time when we can resume business activities. This page will provide up-to-date information and resources to help prepare businesses as they work to ramp up to full operation.
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New York State Issues Guidance for Re-Opening of Businesses
What is Required of Businesses in Order to Re-Open
New York State has issued detail guidance on the Governor’s “New York Forward” Plan, under with the State will re-open in four phases on a regional basis. The guidance includes additional information regarding: (1) when regions will be permitted to begin a phased re-opening; (2) which businesses are included in each of the four phases; (3) what is required of business in order to re-open: and (4) how compliance will be enforced.
When Are Regions Able to Re-Open?
While the PAUSE Order has been extended until at least May 28, starting May 15, regions may begin a phased re-opening provided they satisfy seven criteria. According to the Plan, these criteria ensure that re-opening will only proceed in a region if:
- The infection rate is sufficiently low;
- The health care system has the capacity to absorb potential resurgence in new cases;
- Diagnostic testing capacity is sufficiently high to detect and isolate new cases; and
- Robust contact-tracing capacity is in place to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The State has developed a Regional Monitoring Dashboard to track the progress of each region. As of May 29, all regions with the exception of New York City – have satisfied the criteria and this are able to enter the first phase of re-opening.
Which Business Are Included in Each Phase?
Within each region, non-essential businesses will be permitted to re-open in four phases with a two-week period in between each phase to monitor hospitalization and infection rates. If these indicators become problematic, a regional oversight institution will have the authority to slow down or stop the re-opening process. Businesses that typically draw a large number of visitors from outside the region are required to remain closed throughout the re-opening.
Notable, the re-opening guidance only applies to non-essential businesses. Businesses already deemed essential by the Empire State Development (ESD) Corporation’s guidance – and those that support essential businesses – have remained open during the shutdown and will continue to remain open during the phased re-opening. However, all businesses (including essential businesses) will be required to implement health and safety plans.
- Phase One: Construction, Agriculture, Retail, Manufacturing, and Wholesale Trade
- Phase Two: All Office-Based Jobs, Real Estate Services, Retail (In-Store Shopping), Limited Barbershop and Hair Salon Services
- Phase Three: Restaurants, Food Services
- Phase Four: Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Education