May 8, 2020 3:00 pm

Good Afternoon:  The region is continuing to work towards the phase one reopening of construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain businesses, plus select retail using curbside pickup only, on May 15th.  Earlier in the week, the state released a series of benchmarks each region had to meet in order to allow for the reopening to occur; read about it at  The Southern Tier has met five of the seven requirements and fully expects to have accomplished all seven by the reopening goal of next Friday.

Additional phased openings are expected to occur within the coming weeks and include:


Phase Two

  • Professional services
  • Finance and insurance
  • Retail
  • Administrative support
  • Real estate and rental leasing


Phase Three

  • Restaurants and food service
  • Hotels and accommodations


Phase Four

  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Education


These additional phases are anticipated to occur every two weeks as long as regions continue to meet the reopening criteria issued by the state.

Before reopening can occur, each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical workspace safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.

Businesses will be required to:

  • Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace.
  • Enact social distancing protocols.
  • Restrict non-essential travel for employees.
  • Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others.
  • Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace.
  • Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and
  • Develop liability processes.


At this point, these plans do not need to be filed with the state but should follow CDC guidance and be maintained at the workplace.

The International Economic Development Council has compiled industry specific guidance for reopening which can be found at .  I would encourage you to review these materials for best practices by industry and other items that you should consider when developing your plan.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on the reopening plans and additional industry specific guidance as it becomes available.