EBC COVID Update: 5.19.2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that beginning May 19, New York State will adopt the CDC's "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People" for most business and public settings. Consistent with the CDC guidance, Pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and healthcare settings will continue to follow State's existing COVID-19 health guidelines until more New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.

‘Fully-vaccinated’ is defined as two or more weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

To implement the CDC's guidance, New York State will be revising the following reopening guidelines to take effect on May 19:

Business Mask Rules

This recommendation will apply across commercial settings, including retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services, among other settings.

  • The State will authorize businesses to continue to require masks for all in their establishments, consistent with the CDC guidance.
  • In most settings, vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear a mask.
  • Mask requirements by businesses must adhere to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Unvaccinated individuals, under both CDC and state guidance must wear masks in all public settings.  
  • The Department of Health strongly recommends masks in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown

Business Capacity Rules

Most business capacities, which are currently based upon percentage of maximum occupancy, will be removed on May 19.

  • Businesses will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet.
  • Businesses may eliminate the 6 feet of required social distancing, and increase capacity, only if all patrons within the establishment -- or a separate designated part of the establishment -- present proof of full vaccination status. 
    • Proof of full vaccination status can be provided by patrons through paper form, digital application, or the State's Excelsior Pass.
  • For areas where vaccination status of individuals is unknown and for patrons who do not present proof of full vaccination status, the required social distance of 6 feet still applies until more New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. This change will apply across all commercial settings, except the exempt settings outlined by the CDC.

Small- and Large-Scale Event Rules

Small-scale events will be able to apply the revised business mask and capacity rules.

  • Specifically, for events below the State's social gathering limit of 250 indoors or 500 outdoors, event venues will be able to require masks for all patrons, and DOH strongly recommends masks in indoor settings where vaccination status is unknown, in addition to social distancing of 6 feet will be required between parties of attendees, unless all attendees present proof of full vaccination status.
  • Unvaccinated people should still wear masks.
  • For large-scale events that exceed the State's social gathering limits, event venues will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required distance, as follows:
  • Unvaccinated attendees and attendees who have an unknown vaccination status must be spaced 6 feet apart in assigned sections. Masks will be required in indoor event settings, except while seated and eating or drinking.
  • Fully vaccinated attendees may be spaced directly next to one another at 100 percent capacity instead of 6 feet apart in assigned sections that are designated solely for fully vaccinated individuals. Masks are optional. Venues must verify vaccination status to take advantage of reduced social distancing requirements.
  • Children under the age of 12 who are not yet vaccine eligible, and under the age of 16 who have not yet been able to be vaccinated, may accompany and be seated with a vaccinated adult in a fully vaccinated section.
    • ​​​​​​​Proof of full vaccination status can be provided by attendees through paper form, digital application, or the State's Excelsior Pass.

For large-scale events, proof of recent negative COVID-19 test result for attendees who are over the age of four remains required for unvaccinated attendees in indoor event settings above the State's social gathering limit but will become optional in outdoor event settings.

According to the new CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people can engage in more activities than unvaccinated people, which include:

  • Fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic 
  • Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure 
  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing 
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing 
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues 
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel 
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States. 
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings 
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic 
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible (in non- healthcare settings) 

Additional details on the State's New York Forward reopening guidance updates will be available here.

Having EBC HR & Payroll Solutions, Inc. on your team allows you to move forward with confidence, knowing that we’re doing right by your employees, doing right by you, and it’s all being done in accordance with all the latest rules, regulations, and laws.  Human resources are a vital aspect of any organization and we know that HR personnel can become inundated by laws and regulations as they work to establish HR and Safety policies and procedures. EBC is dedicated to offering solutions for your organization’s human resources challenges. Our philosophy is to provide a comprehensive, wide range of services to all our clients.

For more information regarding on-site HR solutions, please speak reach out to Kelley Siembida, Senior HR Sales Consultant at 716.228.4601 or ksiembida@ebchcm.com

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