11.30 COVID-19 Bulletin: Governor Announces New COVID-19 Response Plan

Governor Cuomo announced today New York’s revised strategy to deal with the next phase of COVID-19 infection.

The strategy calls for:

  • Linking key hospital data to the state’s existing Red, Orange, and Yellow Zone designations.
    • The goal is to better manage the state’s hospital capacity which is being tested given the current infection surge.  Key metrics such as hospitalization rates, hospital bed availability, ICU bed availability, staffing availability, and PPE availability, among others, will now be taken into consideration.
    • The Governor is also aligning NY Pause (the state’s emergency stop order) to key hospital metrics, as well as mandating a series of emergency hospital procedures.
    • The Governor also announced that elective surgeries in Erie County will be suspended again starting Friday, December 4th.
  • Increasing the amount of testing around the state and ensuring that testing availability is balanced among key constituencies.
  • Keeping schools open with a focus on K-8 and special education.
    • Weekly testing rates will be in place for schools located in Red, Orange and Yellow Zones with monthly metrics.  Schools will also be able to pool testing.
  • Educating New Yorkers about the dangers of small gatherings through a new public awareness campaign.
    • The Governor says the vast amount of new COVID-19 infections in New York are the result of spread through small social gatherings in people’s homes.  The state is currently limiting social gatherings to 10 people in Yellow and Orange Zones and prohibiting them in Red Zones.
  • Initiating a vaccine distribution program with a focus on fairness, equity, and safety.
    • The Governor says the first round of limited vaccine distribution could begin in a few weeks with critical mass likely months away.


The state’s Cluster Action Initiative also includes the possibility of being designated a Red Zone.  A breakdown of what is and is not allowed under Red, Orange and Yellow zones is provided below and here.   

 Employers are reminded that they must follow all industry specific re-opening guidelines as has been the case for the last several months.  Those guidelines can be found here.   


The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to providing employers with the latest information and resources to help you deal with COVID-19 and its impact on our community, state and nation. Visit our Events and Resource pages as they are updated regularly to provide you with the most current information.

Do you have specific questions related to running your business or your business unit? Visit the BNP Business Link, a question and answer forum for, and by, the Buffalo Niagara business community.  Submit your questions and get expert answers on just about any topic from legal, IT, HR, NYS regulations, sales, marketing, communications and more.  It is quick, confidential, powerful and convenient.


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