Mar 20, 2020 COVID-19 Guidance

UPDATE: Governor Cuomo Orders All Nonessential Workers to Work From Home Starting Sunday March 22, 2020

On Friday, March 20, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be signing another executive order mandating that all nonessential workers must work from home starting Sunday evening, March 22, 2020. This supersedes the order issued yesterday mandating that 75% of nonessential employees work from home.

Cuomo stated that, like prior executive orders, this one will exclude essential businesses such as medical facilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, infrastructure, banks, the media, gas stations, and other similar essential businesses. The New York State Development Corporation has published guidance on determining whether a business is essential, available here.

Cuomo also announced that nonessential gatherings of any size should be canceled or postponed and people should limit outdoor activities to those without contact and also avoid public transportation unless absolutely necessary.

Governor Cuomo Announces All Nonessential Businesses Must Have 75% of Their Employees Work From Home, Effective Friday, March 20 at 8 PM

March 19, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference on March 19, 2020, that all nonessential businesses and workplaces in New York that require in-office personnel will be required to have 75% of their employees work from home, effective Friday, March 20 at 8 pm.

This announcement supersedes an Executive Order issued by the Governor on March 18, 2020, which stated that 50% of employees would need to work from home. Cuomo has previously only asked all employees to voluntarily work from home, but in the press conference Cuomo now described the 75% reduction as a “mandate.”

Exceptions will be made for essential services, which includes “essential health care operations including research and laboratory services; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports, and transportation infrastructure; essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals; essential retail including grocery stores and pharmacies; essential services including trash collection, mail, and shipping services; news media; banks and related financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

Other businesses seeking to be deemed “essential” can request an opinion from the Empire State Development Corporation. The Empire State Development Corporation is also directed to establish guidance to determine what businesses are essential.