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.
BNP has stepped in to assist the City of Buffalo in their efforts to organize the generous support offered by the business community. Updated 5.20.22 With the establishment of the two funds described below, interested donors are encouraged to contact the appropriate fund directly to provide support.
Without fanfare, the New York State Department of Labor updated its website to announce the relaxation of some NY HERO Act provisions. Employers can now forego enforcing their workplace safety plans.
Governor Kathy Hochul has issued an Executive Order extending New York’s state of emergency declaration for COVID-19. The state of emergency was scheduled to expire today, but Hochul extended the declaration through April 15.
A new report from the Empire Center for Public Policy details how expensive a single payer healthcare system would be in New York. The full report is available here.