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New York COVID State-At-Home Rules

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued executive order that put New York State on “PAUSE." The order included a 10-point policy designed to help keep New Yorkers safe and slow the rate of infection of COVID-19. On May 14, 2020, the governor extended the PAUSE order to June 13, 2020. Under the PAUSE order, those in New York are required to stay in or near their homes unless it is for an essential job or necessary reason, as follows:

  1. All non-essential businesses must close. Effective on March 22, 2020, all non-essential businesses must close. The order includes a detailed list of categories of businesses (for profit and non-profit) that are deemed essential. Such businesses must follow directives on maintaining a clean workplace. A list of essential businesses can be found here. However, on April 26th, Governor Cuomo announced that nonessential industries and businesses could start to reopen in phases with the first phase on May 15th.
  2. Non-essential gatherings are prohibited. The order prohibits in person social gatherings such as birthday parties, dinner parties, sporting events, graduations, and other social activities.
  3. No gathering. People are prohibited from gathering outside their homes unless they are doing so to perform an essential services.
  4. Social distancing is required. When outside of home, people must wear masks and must practice “social distancing,” which means that people who are not members of the same household must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times.
  5. Businesses must facilitate social distancing. Businesses that provide essential services are required to implement policies to ensure social distancing of their employees.
  6. No-contact recreational activities. Outdoor recreational activities cannot involve contact with other people. Limited outdoor recreational activities are permitted. However, those activities must be no contact.
  7. Limits on use of public transportation is prohibited. Public transportation is running on a reduced schedule. The order restricts use of public transportation except for when it is absolutely necessary such as to purchase groceries or medication, or to perform an essential job.
  8. Use of telehealth. Because hospitals and other medical facilities are overwhelmed, before leaving home to seek medical care, a consultation with a health care provider via telehealth is required.
  9. Young people must avoid contact with vulnerable people. While children are not immune to COVID-19 and can get seriously ill from it, children who have COVID-19 are more likely than adults to be asymptomatic. Even when asymptomatic, children can still transmit the disease. It is important for them to avoid contact with those who are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
  10. Sanitizing practices must be used. High use surfaces and objects should be sanitized often using materials such as isopropyl alcohol wipes

Those who violate the social distancing protocol can be fined from $500-$1000.

In addition, to help prevent infection and the spread of the COVID-19, the New York Department of Health recommends that everyone take the following steps:

  • Wash hands. Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place and before eating. If it is not possible to wash hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not touch face. Avoid touching mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Cover mouth and nose. Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and discard the tissue in a closed trash container. Or, sneeze or cough into the inside of elbow.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick. Avoid contact with those who display symptoms such as fever or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if sick. If sick, stay home and contact telehealth. Also stay away from other members of your household and avoid sharing personal items.

Note that the rules, regulations, and recommendations related to COVID-19 are fluid and may change at any time. Check back to this page for updates.

The text of Governor Cuomo’s New York on PAUSE 10-point policy can be found here

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