12.13.21 COVID-19 Bulletin: Statewide Mask Mandate Now in Effect
December 13, 2021
Starting today, Governor Kathy Hochul is imposing a mask mandate for all indoor public settings in New York State. According to guidance from the New York Department of Health, an indoor public place is any indoor space that is not a private residence.
The mandate comes with one notable exception: venues that require proof of vaccination for entry do not have to require masks. Since Hochul’s announcement on Friday 12/10, the state has released a list of frequently asked questions on this mandate, available here.
Hochul said she will reassess the state’s COVID-19 status on January 15. However, businesses can expect this mandate to remain in place until then.
Hochul is asking local health departments to enforce the mandate, and violations can be met with fines. The policy mirrors a mandate issued by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz last month.
The BNP remains in contact with our leaders and has urged them to hold off on restrictions that would hinder business hours/capacity and our regional economy.
This Wednesday, December 15, the BNP will host a webisode with the Employer Services Corporation (ESC) on the details of the new mandate. The presentation will provide a higher level of clarity for the business community and the opportunity to ask specific questions on behalf of your business.
Small businesses can now apply for a new tax credit to help offset COVID-19 costs. The $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program will cover up to 50% of eligible expenses, for a maximum benefit of $25,000.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (The Buffalo News) —Dottie Gallagher, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said fears of random testing and possible quarantines in Ontario all worked to discourage significant aspects of the region’s integrated economy. She called the move “quite frankly, long overdue,” especially for those travelers discouraged to even try navigating requirements like ArriveCan.
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced it will lift all COVID-related restrictions on international travelers beginning this Saturday, October 1.
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently released a report assessing the state Department of Labor’s workforce development efforts. The report found significant overlap, duplication, gaps, and fragmentation in state workforce development programs and services. The audit found that New York offers over 500 workforce development programs and services, administered