Businesses will slowly re-open in parts of New York on Friday, May 15th. Who can open and where?

The Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Finger Lakes, The North Country and Southern Tier are the only regions in New York state, that meet all 7 requirements to begin Phase One of the re-opening process.

Phase one businesses include:
Construction
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade
Select Retail for curbside pickup only
Agriculture
Forestry
Fishing
Drive In movie theaters
Outdoor low risk recreational activities like tennis & golf
Landscaping, gardening

For a full list of specific businesses included in each Phase One industry, and guidelines visit Forward.ny.gov.

Photo Credit - NY.Gov

There will be at least two weeks in between each re-opening phase to allow state and local leaders to monitor the effects and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.

The phase-in plan prioritizes businesses considered to have a greater economic impact and inherently low risks of infection for the workers and customers, followed by other businesses considered to have less economic impact, and those that present a higher risk of infection spread.

Facilities or events that attract hundreds of people from outside the region should be closed and events should continue to be postponed or cancelled until the threat of COVID-19 has subsided.

As businesses reopen, they will not be returning to business as usual. Transmission of COVID-19 will remain a threat to employees and customers for some time, and business owners will need to adapt to this new normal.

Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.

The first factor is protections for employees and customers. These include possible adjustments to workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace; enacting social distancing protocols, and restricting non-essential travel for employees.

The second is changes to the physical workspace, including requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent close contact with others and implementing strict cleaning and sanitation standards.

The last factor is screening individuals when they enter the workplace, or reporting confirmed positives to customers.

Read the full re-opening plan for New York at Governor.ny.gov.