This morning, the Governor held his daily briefing on the COVID-19 situation. All the numbers the Governor announced this morning, including fatalities, indicate the virus is on the decline in the State. Because of this, the Governor provided a basic outline on how the State will begin to reopen on a regional basis. The Governor’s outline includes two major phases. Phase One will include low risk construction projects and manufacturing. Before implementing Phase One, a region’s hospitalization numbers need to be on a decline for two weeks. After implementing Phase One, there will be a period of at least two weeks before the State decides whether to implement Phase Two. This two-week period is so the State can monitor the effects of Phase One.
Phase Two will be to slowly increase who is considered essential on a business by business basis based on risk. Phase Two will require businesses to develop new and creative plans on how to protect their employees, including implementing policies related to how many employees will be allowed to work at a time, social distancing within the workplace, possibly providing or requiring PPE, how to train employees on preventative measures, etc. Some examples of creative plans the Governor included in his PowerPoint were sporting events with no audience and Drive-In theaters. The State has asked businesses to provide them with ideas and plans on how to protect employees to help the State determine which businesses can reopen first. Although not specified, is also likely that there will be a two-week monitoring period within Phase Two whenever the State allows more businesses to open. The one caveat of the Governor’s plan is that a region cannot open any attractions that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
The Governor’s NY on Pause Executive Order is set to expire on May 15th. It is expected that around this time the State will begin evaluating each regions’ numbers to determine when, and where, to begin the phased reopening.
We will continue to closely monitor the Governor’s daily briefings and keep you informed of any new information announced.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us directly.