New York State on PAUSE

New York Forward

As New York State moves through the phases of reopening we must continue to be smart and do what’s necessary to protect each other. The phased reopening of New York is happening on a regional basis, based on a region meeting DOH-determined public health and safety metrics:

  • The infection rate is sufficiently low;
  • The health care system has the capacity to absorb a potential resurgence in new cases;
  • Diagnostic testing capacity is sufficiently high to detect and isolate new cases; and
  • Robust contact-tracing capacity is in place to help prevent the spread of the virus.

To learn more about the reopening phases and which non-essential businesses can open in each region, please visit

Even while New York State begins to reopen, these basic safety measures are as important today as they were on day 1 when the Governor issued the New York State On Pause Executive Order:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; use hand sanitizer if water is not available. 
  • Wear a face covering when you are in public and cannot stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Avoid large groups. Public Gatherings are only permitted if 10 or less people are in attendance. Gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed in Phase Three in the regional reopening. Check to see what phase your region is in.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Expect businesses to enforce these rules, as they are subject to inspection and could be fined up to $10,000 for violations of the state’s social distancing protocols.

Please. Be safe and smart so we don’t lose the progress we worked so hard to gain. 

10 Point Plan

On Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide closed when Governor Cuomo announced the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. 

The 10-point NYS on PAUSE plan is as follows: 

  1. Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed;
  2. Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
  3. Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced;
  4. When in public individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others;
  5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
  6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
  7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
  8. Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
  9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
  10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using isopropyl alcohol wipes.

Essential Businesses Guidance

Empire State Development has released guidance for determining whether a business enterprise is subject to a workforce reduction under recent executive orders. It applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business.