New York State's Phase II Reopening for Western New York Region:

Modified: June 1, 2020 5:36pm

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Western New York Region is currently meeting the metrics for Phase II reopening. Should the trend continue, businesses permitted to reopen under Phase II may start doing so as early as June 2, 2020.

The following are permitted to open during Phase II: Offices; Real Estate; Essential and Phase II In-store Retail; Vehicle Sales, Leases and Rentals; Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning; Hair Salons and Barbershops. Each of the mentioned industries have specific requirement which needs to be met for opening, however, most of them require the following:

Physical Distancing:

    • Ensure that workforce (e.g. salespeople, workers, subcontractors, and vendors) and customer presence total occupancy is limited to 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy.
    • Ensure 6 ft. distance between individuals, unless the safety of the core activity requires a shorter distance (e.g. haircuts).
    • Post social distancing markers using tape or signs that denote 6 ft. of spacing in commonly used and other applicable areas on the site (e.g. clock in/out stations, health screening stations).
    • limit in-person gatherings
    • Establish designated areas for pick-ups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible.
    • Establish designated areas for pick-ups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible
    • Close all non-essential amenities including product samples, water fountains, and magazine areas.
    • Implement practices to maintain adequate social distancing in small areas, such as restrooms and breakrooms, and signage and systems (e.g. flagging when occupied) to restrict occupancy when social distancing cannot be maintained in such areas.
    • Shared workstations (e.g. "hot-desks") must be cleaned and disinfected between users.
    • Consider closing waiting rooms, and post signage and floor distance markers denoting 6 ft. outside of the shop where customers may wait. 
    • Retail: Ensure fitting rooms are equipped with appropriate cleaning/hygiene supplies for employee and customer use, including hand sanitizer. 

Protective Equipment:

    • Provide workers with an acceptable face covering at no cost to the workers/contractors and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of replacement. 
    • Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, and face shields. 
    • Clean, replace, and prohibit the sharing of face coverings. Consult the CDC guidance for additional information on cloth face coverings and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as instructions on use and cleaning. 
    • Train workers on how to don, doff, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE (training should be extended to contractors if the building managers/owners supply contractors with PPE). 
    • Advise workers and visitors to wear face coverings in common areas including elevators, lobbies, and when traveling around the office. 
    • Limit the sharing of objects, such as tools, laptops, notebooks, telephones, touchscreens, and writing utensils, as well as the touching of shared surfaces; or, require workers to wear gloves when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched surfaces; or, require workers to perform hand hygiene before and after contact.
    • At check-out registers, employees must wear face coverings, and employers must enact physical barriers such as plastic shield walls in areas where they would not affect airflow, heating, cooling, or ventilation.
    • Employees must wear face coverings when they are within 6 ft. of customers or coworkers and any time they interact with customers. 
    • Automotive: For test drives of vehicles requiring more than one person, all individuals must wear a face covering.

Cleaning and Hygiene: (there may be additional requirements for specific industries such as Hair Salons and Barbershops please review the information at NY Forward)

    • Adhere to hygiene and sanitation requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain cleaning logs on-site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning. 
    • Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations for personnel, including handwashing with soap, water, and paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible. 
    • Require employees to practice hand hygiene by washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after handling laundry or cleaning and disinfecting rented or repaired equipment or homes from individual customers. 
    • Provide and encourage employees to use cleaning/disinfecting supplies before and after the use of shared and frequently touched surfaces, followed by hand hygiene. 
    • Place hand sanitizer throughout the store in convenient locations for use by employees and customers. 
    • Ensure equipment and goods are disinfected before the customer picks up goods and after the customer drops off goods. 
    • Sanitize hands before and after transferring goods or customer visits. 
    • Conduct regular cleaning and disinfection at least after every shift, daily, or more frequently as needed, and more frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared objects (e.g. registers) and surfaces, as well as high transit areas, such as payment devices, pickup areas, restrooms vehicles, common areas. 
    • Cleaning and disinfecting of the retail location, shared surfaces, and other areas, as well as equipment, should be performed using the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19. 
    • If cleaning or disinfection products or the act of cleaning and disinfecting causes safety hazards or degrades the material or machinery, personnel should have access to a hand hygiene station between use and/or be supplied with disposable gloves. 
    • Prohibit shared food and beverages (e.g. buffet-style meals). 
    • If providing equipment or goods for rent or providing repair services (e.g. sports equipment rentals), clean and disinfect equipment or goods before pickup by a customer, and after a customer drops-off or returns the equipment or goods. If providing cleaning services (e.g. in-home cleaning), sanitize all equipment (e.g. vacuums, buckets) between each use and location.
    • Hair Salons & Barbershops:
      • Customers must only be permitted entry into the hair salon or barbershop if they wear an acceptable face covering, provided that they are over age two and medically able to tolerate one.
      • Employees must use gloves when providing service to a customer, or workers must sanitize or wash their hands before and after contact. If gloves are used, they must be replaced after each appointment. 
      • Employees must wear clean smocks or gowns. 
      • If providing coverings (e.g. apron, smocks) to a client, coverings must be disposable, or cleaned and disinfected between each use. Limit the sharing of objects (e.g. clippers, tools) and discourage touching of shared surfaces; or, when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched areas, wear gloves (trade-appropriate or medical); or, sanitize or wash hands before and after contact.
      • Services offered must not require the removal of a facemask (e.g. beard trim).   


    • Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state-issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them. 
    • Post signage inside and outside of the hair salon or barbershop to remind personnel and customers to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. 
    • Train all personnel on new protocols and frequently communicate safety guidelines. 
    • Establish a communication plan for employees, visitors, and customers with a consistent means to provide updated information. 
    • Maintain a continuous log of every person, including workers and visitors, who may have close contact with other individuals at the hair salon or barbershop; excluding customers and deliveries that are performed with appropriate PPE or through contactless means
    • If a worker, visitor, or customer was in close contact with others at the salon or barbershop location and tests positive for COVID-19, the employer must immediately notify local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers, visitors, and/or customers (if known) who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations. Conspicuously post completed safety plans on-site.


    • Employees who are sick should stay home or return home if they become ill at work.
    • Implement mandatory health screening assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) before employees begin work each day and for essential visitors, asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days. Assessment responses must be reviewed every day and such review must be documented.  
    • Employees who present with COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home to contact their health care provider for medical assessment and COVID-19 testing. If tested positive, the employee may only return completing a 14-day quarantine.
    • Employees who present with no symptoms but have tested positive in the past 14 days may only return to work after completing a 14-day quarantine. 
    • Employees who have had close contact with a confirmed or suspected person with COVID-19 but are not experiencing any symptoms should inform their employer and may be able to work with additional precautions, including regular monitoring for symptoms and temperature, required face covering all times, and appropriate social distancing from others. 
    • Tenants are responsible for screening their employees and visitors, but tenants and building management should coordinate to facilitate screening.
    • A person who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms should not be allowed to enter the location and should be sent home with instructions to contact their healthcare provider for assessment and testing.
    • On-site screeners should be trained by employer identified individuals familiar with CDC, DOH, and OSHA protocols and wear appropriate PPE, including at a minimum, a face covering. 
    • Have a plan for cleaning, disinfection, and contact tracing in the event of a positive case.
    • Designate a site safety monitor who will ensure compliance with the business's safety plan.
    • Provide for the cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event of a positive case, with such cleaning to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g. bathrooms, door-knobs).

Responsible Parties must conspicuously post completed safety plans on-site. The State has made available a business reopening safety plan template to guide business owners and operators in developing plans to protect against the spread of COVID-19. (

Additional safety information, guidelines, and resources are available:

Erie County Department of Health Coronavirus 

New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Centers for Disease Control Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)  

Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19

If a business violates the Reopening order please file a complaint.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force to assist local authorities with enforcement of Executive Orders and restrictions on business operations and activities, as well as gatherings, during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Individuals can file complaints regarding the operation of businesses or gatherings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through an online form or by calling 1-833-789-0470. (Note: Specific complaints from employees against their employers should be directed to the Department of Labor through their online form.) 

These complaints are reviewed for completeness, accuracy, and applicability under the orders, and then referred to local authorities (as designated by county leaders) by a team of investigators from multiple state agencies. In addition to assessing the credibility of complaints, these skilled investigators can assist local authorities in their front-line role of responding to alleged violations of the orders by assisting available civil and criminal enforcement tools.

This information brought to you by New York Forward.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020