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Industries To Open First, Additional State Reopening Guidelines Announced

Today Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined additional guidelines for when state regions can reopen. The state will monitor four core factors to determine if a region can reopen:


  • New Infections: Based on guidelines from the CDC, regions must have at least 14 days of decline in total net hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. In regions with few COVID cases, the region cannot exceed 15 net new total hospitalizations or five new deaths on a three-day rolling average. In order to monitor the potential spread of infection in a region, a region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day.

  • Health Care Capacity: Every region must have the health care capacity to handle a potential surge in cases. Regions must have at least 30 percent total hospital and ICU beds available. This is coupled with the new requirement that hospitals have at least 90 days of personal protective equipment stockpiled.

  • Diagnostic Testing Capacity: Each region must have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month. The state is rapidly expanding capacity statewide to help all regions meet this threshold.

  • Contact Tracing Capacity: Regions must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region. The state is currently building an army of contact tracers with Mayor Bloomberg to meet the needs of each region statewide.

Governor Cuomo also outlined which industries and businesses can open in each phase of the state's reopening plan. Businesses considered "more essential" with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered "less essential" or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.


New York's economy will reopen in phases, starting with construction and manufacturing followed by professional services, restaurants and other industries.


  • Phase 1: Construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; select retail with curbside pickup

  • Phase 2: Professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support; real estate, rental leasing

  • Phase 3: Restaurants, food services; hotels, accommodations

  • Phase 4: Arts, entertainment, recreation, education

There are safety precautions that each business must put in place upon reopening to help lower the risk of spreading the virus. Businesses will be required to:


  • Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace;

  • Enact social distancing protocols;

  • Restrict non-essential travel for employees;

  • Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others;

  • Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards;

  • Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace;

  • Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and

  • Develop liability processes.

Additional information is available here at governor.ny.gov.

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