Big Apple Shrinks

Shelter in Place Order – New York’s Approach

Written by Susan Kohn Ross

On Friday, Governor Cuomo issued New York’s order. While not referring to “shelter in place”, it has the same impact. To be accurate, the full title is “Guidance for Determining Whether A Business Enterprise is Subject To A Workforce Reduction Under Executive Order 202.6.” Building on an existing executive order to reduce the workforce at each business/work location by 75%, the new order defines essential businesses as follows, and requires that other, non-essential businesses “reduce the in-person workforce at each business/work location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels…”

1. Essential health care operations including:

  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

2. Essential infrastructure including:

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential manufacturing including:

  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products

4. Essential retail including:

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

5. Essential services including:

  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters

6. News media

7. Financial Institutions including:

  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  • services related to financial markets

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in
  • state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support

9. Construction including:

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

10. Defense

  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses including:

  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection

12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services:

  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
    essential government services

The order also states that if a business “operate[s] or provide[s] both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions ” .The message is loud and clear. If your lines or business operations do not fit into one of those deemed essential, your workers should stay home. If you do constitute an essential business, best practice would be to keep the on-site workforce to a minimum. A copy of the full order can be found here. As might be expected, prudence dictates that companies carefully evaluate their operations to make sure they are compliant with all the relevant shelter in place or similar order for all the obvious reasons.

 

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