As New York State begins the process of reopening in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a mix of mandatory procedures and best-recommended practices, per industry will shape what businesses look like as they return.
Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must make available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidance for more information on how to safely operate. For a list of regions and sectors that are authorized to re-open, as well as detailed guidance for each sector, please visit: forward.ny.gov
The state’s template can be found here
To help provide further guidance the CDC has added specific instructions for different sectors to detect and trace the virus based on exposure and risk after the pandemic. Some key elements:
- If a person in a school building tests positive, schools should evaluate the risk and consider a brief dismissal of about 2-5 days, to clean and disinfect the building, coordinate with local health officials and contact trace. There are different measures based on the level of community spread.
- As restrictions across the country on restaurants and bars ease, owners give workers at a higher risk of getting sick a job that limits the person’s interaction with customers. The agency also suggests opening with limited seating initially to allow for social distancing. Once fully reopened, the CDC recommends having a clear policy about when employees should stay home if sick and rules on hygiene, including at times wearing face coverings. Restaurant and bar owners in NYC should complete the survey put out by the City in order to develop the city’s restaurant reopening plan.
- When mass transit resumes its full service, the agency recommends being prepared to adjust routes based on the different levels of virus spread and to coordinate with local health officials about prevention strategies, such as wearing a face covering.
- For businesses that provide child care during the pandemic, the C.D.C. recommends having plans in place, for example, to have substitute workers if staff members are sick, and requiring staff and children older than two to wear face coverings.