NYS Government and Legislative Update – 4.15.20

In his briefing today, Governor Cuomo announced that he will be issuing a new executive order that will require all people in public to use a mask or face covering if they cannot maintain social distancing.  For now, there will not be a penalty for not wearing the mask, but the Governor announced that he will explore adding a civil penalty if people don’t comply going forward.  It will be on the local governments to enforce this order.  This order will take effect in three days, and as needed, we’ll provide more detail once we have seen the executive order.

This mask requirement was announced as part of the Governor’s overview of how to “Un-Pause” the state.  There is still no timeframe for that, but he did set out a roadmap based on the basic principle of do no harm.  With that as his basis, he indicated that businesses will be assessed based on two factors:  1. How essential an industry is and 2. What the infection risk is for that industry.  The answers to these questions will determine when and how a business can reopen.   The priority will be to reopen the more essential businesses with a low risk of infection as soon as possible.  From there, the less essential businesses with a low risk of infection and more essential businesses with a high risk of infection will be evaluated for un-pausing and will likely see it happen in a stepped-up fashion.  This stepped return will see an employee return of 25%, then 50%, 75% and finally 100%.  The less essential businesses with a high risk of infection will be opened last and with serious precautions like not allowing any vulnerable employees or customers on premises and employing antibody testing for those that are allowed back to the business.

The plan unveiled today did not have any detail or indication of what industries will be deemed more or less essential. As we get more detail on this roadmap and when the state may begin to un-pause, we will pass it along.

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