WNY business openings continue with Phase IV. Here is what you need to know:

Modified: June 24, 2020 4:25pm

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Western New York Region is currently heading in the right direction for meeting the metrics for Phase IV reopening. Should the matrix continued to be met, those businesses reopening under Phase IV may be able to as soon as June 30, 2020.

The following are permitted to open during Phase IV: Higher Education, Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment, Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment, and Media Production. Each has specific requirements which need to be met for opening, some are shared by all.

Safety plan for reopening, templets available at Forward NY website                             

 

Higher Education:

Physical Distancing

▪ Any time individuals come within 6 ft. of another person who does not reside in the same residence (i.e., roommate), acceptable face coverings must be worn. This provision should not be construed to require physical distancing among roommates or to require face coverings to be worn while inside an individual’s residence.

▪ In consultation with the local health department, identify where students who are exposed to, or infected with, COVID-19 will be residing and how daily needs (e.g. food, medication) will be met if it becomes necessary to have a period of quarantine or isolation.

▪ Reference relevant industry-specific guidelines provided by the Department of Health – and available on the New York Forward website – for operations of dining halls, research, office workspaces, gyms, transportation, retail stores, and other activities, as applicable. 

 

Protective Equipment

▪ Any time individuals come within 6 ft. of another person who does not reside in the same residence (e.g. roommate), acceptable face coverings must be worn.

▪ Advise employees, students, and visitors that they are required to wear face coverings in common areas or situations where social distancing may be difficult to maintain, such as riding in elevators, entering/exiting classrooms or student centers, and traveling around the campus.

▪ Provide face coverings to employees who directly interact with students or members of the public while at work, at no cost to the employee.

▪ Train employees on how to adequately put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE. See CDC guidance for additional information.

 

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

▪ Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection. Identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility type and assign responsibility.

▪ Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations throughout the institution, including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible.

▪ Conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched surfaces. Refer to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19. 

▪ Ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms.

▪ Provide for the cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID-19, with such cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high touch surfaces. Refer to CDC guidelines.

 

Communication 

▪ Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state-issued industry guidelines and submit reopening plans before reopening.

▪ Conspicuously post completed reopening plans for employees and students to access. 

 

Screening 

▪ Implement mandatory health screening practices (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) for employees, students, and, where practicable, scheduled visitors (e.g. on-campus tour groups) asking about, at minimum: (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close or proximate contact with confirmed or suspected COVID19 case in past 14 days. Assessment responses must be reviewed every day and such review must be documented.

▪ Employees reporting to work on-campus must be screened daily.

▪ Students must be screened periodically as determined by the higher education institution but are not required to be screened daily. 

▪ An individual who screens positive for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms must be immediately sent home, to their residence, or the designated quarantine or isolation location with instructions or arrangements for health assessment and testing.

▪ Immediately notify the state and local health departments of confirmed positive cases.

▪ In the case of an individual testing positive, develop plans with local health departments to trace all contacts of the individual, following the New York State Contact Tracing Program. Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state law and regulations

 

Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment Guidelines for Employers and Employees (These guidelines apply to all low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment activities permitted to reopen. This guidance applies to low-risk outdoor arts/entertainment activities, including outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions, outdoor museums, outdoor agritourism, local agricultural demonstrations, and exhibitions; and other similar institutions/activities. See “Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment” for full details. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, all owners/operators of low-risk outdoor art and/or entertainment centers should stay up to date with any changes to state and federal requirements related to outdoor arts and entertainment activities and incorporate those changes into their operations. This guidance is not intended to replace any existing applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and standards. This guidance does not apply to indoor arts or entertainment, museums, or outdoor recreational activities.)

Physical Distancing

▪ Limit workforce and patron/visitor presence to no more than 33% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area at any given time, inclusive of patrons/visitors, who must only be permitted entry into the institution if they wear an acceptable face covering, provided that they are over age 2 and able to medically tolerate one.

▪ Ensure limited indoor capacity to accommodate patrons/visitors who may need to enter/exit through indoor space to access the outdoor arts/ entertainment space, restroom(s), payment locations, or in an emergency, and allow such ingress/egress in a socially distant manner.

▪ Ensure a distance of at least 6 ft. is maintained among individuals, except for members of the same household or party, at all times, unless safety or the core activity requires a shorter distance (e.g. operating cash registers), in which case all individuals must wear face coverings.

▪ Ensure that employees wear face coverings any time they interact with patrons/visitors, and that all individuals, including employees and patrons/ visitors, wear face coverings any time they ‘re within 6 ft. of another person.

▪ For exhibits in a small area, calculate and enforce maximum occupancy limits and social distancing.

▪ Monitor/control flow of traffic into the site and exhibits to adhere to capacity requirements, and enhance employee/security presence to enforce limitations on gathering size, as necessary.

▪ Only permit group tours for members of the same household or party and with a maximum capacity under social gathering requirements at the time, including employees and patrons/visitors.

▪ Close high-risk interactive exhibits (e.g. those requiring patrons/visitors to touch or wear objects).

▪ Close children’s play areas or exhibits with play equipment, unless such areas/exhibits can be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized between each child using the area/equipment who is not a member of the same household or party.

▪ Move any picnic areas and benches 6 ft. apart or close them if they can’t be moved.

▪ Operate per industry-specific DOH guidelines where appropriate.

 

Protective Equipment

▪ Ensure patrons/visitors are only permitted entry into the institution if they wear an acceptable face covering; provided they are over age 2 and able to medically tolerate one.

▪ Ensure patrons/visitors wear face coverings whenever they are in common areas or scenarios where it may be difficult to maintain 6 ft. of distance (e.g. entering/ leaving the facility, traversing an enclosed small exhibit, interacting with employees) and whenever they are within 6 ft. of individuals who are not members of their household or party.

▪ Ensure that any time employees come within six feet of another person, acceptable face coverings are worn. Employees must be prepared to don a face covering if another person unexpectedly comes within 6 ft. Employees also must wear face coverings any time they interact with patrons/visitors.

▪ Provide employees with an acceptable face covering at no cost to the employee and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of need for 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 CDC guidance for information on PPE, as well as instructions on use and cleaning.

▪ Limit the sharing of objects among employees, as well as the touching of shared surfaces; or, require employees to wear gloves (trade-appropriate or medical) when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched surfaces; or, require employees to perform hand hygiene before and after contact.

 

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

▪ Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs on-site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

▪ Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations on-site, including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not available/practical.

▪ Make hand sanitizer available throughout common areas (e.g. near exhibits).

▪ Conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of the site and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched areas. Use the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19.

▪ Discontinue headsets/equipment loaned/rented to patrons/visitors unless they can be properly disinfected after each use.

▪ If single-use maps are not provided, ensure they are cleaned and disinfected after every use.

▪ Provide for cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID19, with such cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g. badge scanners, restrooms, handrails, door handles, vending machines, communal coffee stations). Follow CDC guidelines on cleaning your facility after a suspected or confirmed case.

 

Communication 

▪Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state-issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them.

▪ Post signage throughout the location to remind personnel and patrons/visitors to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfection protocols.

▪ Conspicuously post completed safety plans on-site.

 

Screening

▪ Implement mandatory daily health screenings for employees and, where practicable, contractors and vendors (but do not mandate for patrons/visitors or delivery personnel), including an assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close or proximate contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days. Responses must be reviewed and documented daily.

▪ Immediately notify the state and local health department upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test results.

▪ Designate a site safety monitor whose responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan.

 

Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment Guidelines for Employers and Employees (These guidelines apply to all indoor museums, historical sites, aquariums, and other related institutions or activities that have been permitted to reopen. See “Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Low-Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment” for full details. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, all owners/operators of indoor museums, historical sites, aquariums, and other related activities should stay up to date with any changes to state and federal requirements related to low-risk indoor arts and entertainment activities and incorporate those changes into their operations. This guidance is not intended to replace any existing applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and standards.)

Physical Distancing

▪ Limit the workforce and patron/visitor presence to no more than 25% of maximum occupancy, inclusive of patrons/visitors, who must only be permitted entry into the institution if they wear an acceptable face covering, provided that they are over the age of 2 and medically able to tolerate one.

▪ Ensure a distance of at least 6 ft. is maintained among individuals (both patrons/visitors and employees) at all times, except groups visiting the institution from the same household, unless safety or the core activity requires a shorter distance, in which case individuals must wear acceptable face coverings.

▪ Ensure that employees wear face coverings any time they interact with patrons/visitors (e.g. ticket sales), and that all individuals, including employees and patrons/visitors, wear face coverings any time they’re within 6 ft. of another person.

▪ For exhibits in a small area, calculate and enforce maximum occupancy limits and social distancing.

▪ Monitor/control flow of traffic into and within the institution to adhere to capacity requirements, and enhance employee/security presence to enforce limitations on gathering size, as necessary.

▪ Only permit group tours for members of the same household or party and with a maximum capacity under social gathering requirements at the time, including employees and patrons/visitors.

▪ Close high-risk interactive exhibits (e.g. those requiring patrons/visitors to touch or wear objects).

▪ Close children’s play areas or exhibits with play equipment, unless such areas/exhibits can be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized between each child using the area/equipment who is not a member of the same household or party.

▪ Move any picnic areas and benches 6 ft. apart or close them if they can’t be moved.

▪ Operate under industry-specific DOH guidelines where appropriate.

 

Protective Equipment

▪ Ensure patrons/visitors are only permitted entry into the institution if they wear an acceptable face covering; provided they are over age 2 and able to medically tolerate one.

▪ Ensure patrons/visitors wear face coverings whenever they are in common areas or scenarios where it may be difficult to maintain 6 ft. of distance (e.g. entering/ leaving the facility, traversing an enclosed small exhibit, interacting with employees) and whenever they are within 6 ft. of individuals who are not members of their household or party.

▪ Ensure that any time employees come within six feet of another person, acceptable face coverings are worn. Employees must be prepared to don a face covering if another person unexpectedly comes within 6 ft. Employees also must wear face coverings any time they interact with patrons/visitors.

▪ Provide employees with an acceptable face covering at no cost to the employee and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of need for 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 CDC guidance for information on PPE, as well as instructions on use and cleaning.

▪ Train employees on how to put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE.

▪ Limit the sharing of objects among employees, as well as the touching of shared surfaces; or, require employees to wear gloves (trade-appropriate or medical) when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched surfaces; or, require employees to perform hand hygiene before and after contact.

▪ Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs on-site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

▪ Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations on-site, including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not available/practical.

▪ Make hand sanitizer available throughout common areas in the building (e.g. near exhibits).

▪ Provide appropriate cleaning/disinfection supplies for shared and frequently-touched surfaces (e.g. door handles, ticket counters) and encourages employees to use them before/after use of such surfaces, followed by hand hygiene.

▪ Conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of the building and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched areas. Use the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19.

▪ Discontinue headsets/equipment loaned/rented to patrons/visitors unless they can be properly disinfected after each use.

▪ If single-use items (e.g. maps) are not provided, ensure they are cleaned and disinfected after each use.

▪ Provide for cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID19, with such cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g. badge scanners, restrooms, handrails, door handles, vending machines, communal coffee stations). Follow CDC guidelines on cleaning your facility after a suspected or confirmed case.

 

Communication

▪ Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state-issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them.

▪ Post signage throughout the location to remind personnel and patrons/visitors to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfection protocols.

▪ Conspicuously post completed safety plans on-site.

 

Screening

▪ Implement mandatory daily health screenings for employees and, where practicable, contractors and vendors (but do not mandate for patrons/visitors or delivery personnel), including an assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close or proximate contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days. Responses must be reviewed and documented daily.

▪ Immediately notify the state and local health department upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test results.

▪ Designate a site safety monitor whose responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan

 

Media Productions: (These guidelines apply to media production businesses/activities in regions of New York that have been permitted to reopen. For this guidance, “media production activities” encompass all activities undertaken in the motion picture, music, television, and streaming productions on set, on location, or at any production or recording site. See “Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Media Production” for full details. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, all owners/managers of media production businesses should stay up to date with any changes to state and federal requirements related to media production and incorporate those changes into their operations. This guidance is not intended to replace any existing applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and standards.)

 

Physical Distancing

▪ For indoor facilities or locations, ensure that the presence of employees, cast, and crew members is limited to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area.

▪ Ensure that all employees, cast, and crew maintain 6 ft. of physical distance between each other in all locations (e.g. meal areas, common areas, trailers, video village, equipment areas) around the media production facility or location.

• Provided that certain functions during media production require coming within 6 ft. of others (e.g. hair, makeup, sound, filming, performing), identify such functions, and implement a protocol for mitigation of risk for affected individuals.

• If safety or the core activity (e.g. moving equipment, unloading materials) requires individuals to be within a shorter distance, individuals must wear acceptable face coverings.

Ensure that all employees, cast, and crew wear acceptable face coverings at all times within the media production facility or location, provided that they are over age 2 and able to medically tolerate one.

• Performers may temporarily remove their face covering during performances/rehearsals, or when it interferes with a core activity, such as hair, makeup, or wardrobe. Performers must don face coverings following these activities.

▪ Limit the number of employees, cast, and crew to only essential individuals for both indoor and outdoor media production activities. Any non-essential personnel (e.g. friends, family, guests, visitors) must be prohibited.

▪ Take social distancing requirements into account when scouting or choosing media production locations. Ensure that locations can be secured completely from the general public, allow for enough space to adhere to social distancing requirements, and maintain appropriate and cleaning and disinfection standards

▪ Ensure there is sufficient security to limit access to only essential individuals and to disperse anyone who gathers outside.

▪ Reserve adequate space for employees, cast, and crew to observe a distancing while eating meals.

▪ If more than one individual rides in a vehicle, ensure that all occupants wear face coverings.

▪ Establish designated areas for pick-ups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible.

 

Workplace Activity

▪ Operate by industry-specific DOH guidelines where appropriate.

▪ Prohibit live audiences unless they consist only of paid employees, cast, and crew. Employees, cast, and crew may make up a live audience of no more than 100 individuals or 25% of the audience capacity, whichever is lower, and maintain 6 ft. of social distance in all directions.

 

Protective Equipment

▪ Ensure that all employees, cast, and crew wear face coverings at all times within the media production facility or location, provided the individual is over the age of 2 and medically able to tolerate one.

• Performers may temporarily remove their face covering during performances or rehearsals or when it interferes with a core activity such as hair, makeup, or wardrobe. Performers must don face coverings as soon as practicable following the above activities.

• Ensure that all employees, cast, and crew close to performers without face coverings (e.g. hairstylists, make-up artists, costume designers, sound technicians, studio teachers, stunt coordinators, special effects technicians) wear both an acceptable face covering and eye protection, such as a face shield or goggles, during the activity requiring proximity.

▪ Provide employees, cast, and crew with an acceptable face covering at no cost to the employee, cast, or crew member.

▪ Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth-based face coverings and disposable masks that cover both the mouth and nose.

▪ Face coverings must be cleaned or replaced after use or when damaged or soiled, may not be shared, and should be properly stored or discarded.

▪ Train employees, cast, and crew on how to adequately don, doff, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE, including but not limited to face coverings.

 

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

▪ Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs on-site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

▪ Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations throughout the facility or location, including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible.

▪ Hand sanitizers must be available throughout common areas.

▪ Conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of the media production facility or location including high-risk areas and frequently touched surfaces (e.g. studios, production sets, hair and make-up stations, trailers, break areas, eating areas, vehicles).

▪ Ensure that all media production equipment and tools (e.g. cases, cameras, eyepieces, lenses, monitors, and touchscreens, dollies) are regularly cleaned and disinfected using registered disinfectants. Refer to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19.

▪ Ensure all props, costumes, and set materials are cleaned and disinfected between each use and stored in sealed containers between uses.

▪ If cleaning or disinfection products or the act of cleaning and disinfection causes safety hazards or degrades the material or machinery, put in place hand hygiene stations between use and/or supply disposable gloves and/or limitations on the number of individuals using such objects.

▪ Prohibit shared food and beverages among employees, cast, and crew (e.g. self-serve meals and beverages) and reserve adequate space for employees, cast, and crew to observe social distancing while eating meals.

 

Communication 

▪ Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state-issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them.

▪ Post signage inside/outside of the media production facility or location to remind individuals to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of face coverings, and cleaning /disinfection protocols.

▪ Notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by any individual at the media production facility or location.

▪ Conspicuously post completed safety plans on-site.


Screening

▪ Ensure that employees, cast, and crew members, whose job functions or roles involve close or proximate contact with cast members, have been tested for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test before they participate in media production activities, and at least once per week thereafter, when on-site or location.

▪ Implement mandatory daily health screenings for employees, cast, crew, and where practicable, contractors and vendors (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who was under isolation for COVID-19 or with anyone who tested positive or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past month.

▪ Any employee, cast, crew member, contractor, or vendor who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms must not be allowed to enter the media production facility/ location and must be sent home with instructions to contact their healthcare provider for assessment and testing.  


Additional safety information, guidelines, and resources are available:

Erie County Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

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. 

If the Phase IV opening goes accordingly, as the other Phases have more information will be released on the remaining industries as NYS permits them to reopen.

This information brought to you by New York Forward.

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Expires: 
Monday, August 31, 2020