New York businesses will have to cut the number of employees they have coming into worksites and offices in half as per an order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday. The move is meant to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the state by limiting density.
But there are exemptions and a lot of details. Here's a question-and-answer:
When does this take effect?
Cuomo's order will formally take effect Thursday at 8 p.m. It applies to all businesses and non-profit entities as well.
Who is exempt?
There are a range of industries the state is deeming "essential" to have as much of its workforce operating as possible during the pandemic. That includes health care operations including research and lab services, and firms that provide infrastructure support such as utilities, airports, telecommunications, airports, transportation. It also includes those in the food processing and pharmaceutical industries, trash collection, financial institutions and the news media. Banks, providers of basic necessities to the economically disadvantaged, construction, vendors that help maintain safety and sanitation, logistics and tech support, child care and those that provide support services to governments are also exempt.
Could some businesses be formally deemed essential?
Yes, companies can seek an option from the Empire State Development Corp., which will review and grant requests if it's determined to be "in the best interest of the state" to have the firm's workforce at full capacity. There's a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday to have those guidances issued by economic development officials.
How are public workers affected by this?
Public employees are who considered non-essential have already been affected in New York. The Cuomo administration has previously called on local governments to have half of their non-essential employees work remotely. Non-essential state workers have had their schedules staggered for the last several days.