Reopening on the Horizon? Update to Guidance on New York Governor's Executive Order No. 202.6 on the Real Estate Industry

Alerts / May 5, 2020

On April 7, 2020, and April 10, 2020, we issued alerts in connection with New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.6 – Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency (EO 202.6), which, among other things, promulgated limitations on nonessential businesses and not-for-profit entities located in the state. On May 4, 2020, Gov. Cuomo outlined a proposal to gradually reopen the state’s economy following the May 15, 2020, expiration of EO 202.6.

Gov. Cuomo proposed a region-by-region reopening of the state’s economy. Data will drive when each region of the state will reopen. The governor set forth the following data points each region must meet prior to reopening:

  1. A region must have at least 14 days of decline in total hospitalizations and deaths on a three-day rolling average.
  2. Lightly hit regions must have fewer than 15 new cases or five deaths on a three-day rolling average.
  3. A region must have fewer than two new COVID-19 patients per 100,000 residents per day.
  4. A region must have at least 30% of total and intensive care unit hospital beds available.
  5. All hospitals in a region must have a 90-day stockpile of personal protective equipment.
  6. A region must stockpile 30 COVID-19 tests per 1,000 residents.
  7. A region must have 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, with additional tracers available based on the projected number of cases in the applicable region. A contract tracer is a person who will identify persons with whom an individual testing positive has come in contact.

Based on slides the governor presented during the May 4, 2020, briefing, many upstate communities are close to meeting the requirements for reopening. The governor indicated the New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Western New York regions are higher risk and currently meet few of the required data points. Below is the slide from the governor’s presentation, setting forth each region’s progress toward meeting the indicators above. Red indicates a region failed to meet a benchmark as of May 4, 2020. Green indicates a region successfully met a benchmark as of May 4, 2020.

Once a region meets the data points described above, it may begin a phased reopening in the following order:

  • Phase 1: Construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain and certain retail operations utilizing curbside pickup.
  • Phase 2: Professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support, and real estate/rental leasing.
  • Phase 3: Restaurants, food service, hotels and other accommodations.
  • Phase 4: Arts, entertainment, recreation and education.

Upon reopening, regions and businesses must make adjustments to workplace hours and shift design, enact social distancing measures, restrict nonessential travel, require masks if there will be frequent contact with other employees or customers, adopt strict cleaning and sanitation measures, adopt continuous health-screening processes, and maintain continuous tracing, tracking and reporting of COVID-19 cases.

The full replay of Gov. Cuomo’s May 4, 2020 briefing is available here.

We will continue to monitor developments regarding reopening as more information becomes available.

Note: This is an update to our alerts titled Empire State Development’s Guidance to New York Governor’s Executive Order No. 202.6 as It Relates to the Real Estate Industry: What Real Estate Services Are Considered Essential Businesses? Originally published on April 7, 2020, available here, and Update to Empire State Development’s Guidance to New York Governor’s Executive Order No. 202.6 as It Relates to the Real Estate Industry: What Real Estate Services Are Considered Essential Businesses? originally published on April 10, 2020, available here.

Authorship Credit: Nicholas P. Melillo and Michael Iannuzzi

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