MAYVILLE – (MEDIA RELEASE) – On May 18, New York State issued detailed guidelines for the reopening of Phase 1 businesses, which are required to be adhered to prior to reopening during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The state’s guidance, which can be found at Forward.NY.gov/, includes: Summary Guidelines for employers and employees; Detailed Guidelines, which contain a Business Affirmation component; and a Business Safety Template, which must be completed and posted at the premises.
The Phase 1 reopening includes the following business sectors: Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting; Retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and previously designated businesses, such as grocery stores and take-out food.
Phase 2 businesses are also encouraged to complete their plans as soon as possible so they are ready to re-open once we enter their phase. Phase 2 businesses include: Professional Services; Retail (in-store); Administrative Support; and Real Estate/Rental & Leasing.
“It is imperative that ALL businesses visit the Forward NY website and comply with the guidelines in order to protect employees and to avoid any negative consequences that could ensue should they not submit to the State’s rubric,” said Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. “It is imperative that we keep our metrics within check so that we can continue to re-open our businesses and keep everyone safe while doing so. We need to build employee trust and customer confidence as we move toward the re-opening of our economy.”
Because each sector’s guidelines are different, businesses must complete the affirmation document, and fill out and print the writeable PDF safety plan template for their particular business-type. If the reopening of businesses ultimately results in a higher incidence of COVID-19 cases beyond an acceptable level, it could result in a further pause in the re-opening of other business sectors, or even a reversal of businesses that have been allowed to reopen. The guidelines also provide other safety protocol such as the use of signage, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, cleaning and disinfecting protocol, and much more.
Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CEO of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), said, “Phase 1 businesses, along with companies that were deemed essential from the outset of the pandemic, are required to certify with the state, as well as complete and post their safety plans in the workplace for employees and customers to see. Businesses are strongly encouraged to go beyond the state’s minimum guidelines, if possible, and it would be prudent to discuss the safety plans with all of their employees and to assign a COVID-19 point person. We must do everything within our means to lower the risk to human health and safety, while bringing our economy back to life. ”
If for any reason businesses are unable to access the state’s Forward NY website, they are being urged to contact the CCIDA at (716) 661-8900 to seek assistance with compliance. The CCIDA will help with business certifications and with completing the safety plan templates.