May 16, 2020 9:00 pm

On May 11, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that the first phase of reopening would begin on May 15, 2020 in several regions of New York, based upon available regional metrics and indicators.   We are fortunate that the Southern Tier has been allowed to reopen under Phase I reopening guidance.  Those businesses previously considered essential also can continue to operate.


  • Today the state released revisions to the essential guidance as outlined below:
    • Under #1, Healthcare, acupuncture, prescribed by a medical professional, has been added;
    • Under #4, Retail, in regions that are not within the first phase of the state’s regional re-opening plan, delivery for orders placed remotely via phone or online at non-essential retail establishments; provided, however, that only one employee is physically present at the business location to fulfill orders has been added;
    • Under #5, Services, auto maintenance has been added along with auto repair; pet grooming to maintain the animal’s health has been added; gardening and horticulture has been added;
    • Under #11, services to maintain the health, safety, and sanitation, specialized maintenance, including but not limited to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and pool maintenance has been added; cleaning and sanitation services has been added; occupational safety and health professionals has been added; commercial moving services has been added; and
    • Under #13, Recreation, the following has been added: “ Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities are permitted so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place: tennis; non-motorized boat use and rentals, such as row boats, kayaks, canoes; and golf and driving ranges, except miniature (mini) golf, with food and retail services subject to the restrictions that are currently in effect within the region; Drive-in movie theaters so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place.
  • Per the Governor’s briefing today, horse tracks and Watkins Glen International are able to open without fans on June 1.
  • A new tool is now available to help companies determine whether or not a business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which a business must comply. This tool uses information about the company’s county and NAICS code. To access it, please visit:


The IDA will continue to monitor this guidance and provide updates as they become available.