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ESD Updates Guidance On Essential And Non-Essential Construction

Empire State Development has updated guidance on essential and non-essential construction.

"All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work)."

Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:


  • The construction is for, or your business supports, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools.

  • The construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (I) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (II) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority.

  • The construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;

  • The construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so.

  • The construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ at:  https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD_EssentialEmployerFAQ_033120.pdf

  • The construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or

  • The construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.


More information can be found at: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026





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