June 25, 2020 10:15 am

In response to yesterday’s announcement regarding the tri-state travel advisory/quarantine, the Department of Health issued guidance that provides more details on the exemptions for essential workers, with separate guidance listed for essential workers traveling for short, medium and long-term durations.  In sum, individuals deemed essential workers by previous NYS guidance are exempted from the quarantine mandates as long as they follow the safety precautions listed below.

 

Exceptions to the travel advisory are permitted for essential workers and are limited based on the duration of time in designated states, as well as the intended duration of time in New York. The Commissioner of Health may additionally grant an exemption to the travel advisory based upon extraordinary circumstances, which do not warrant quarantine, but may be subject to the terms and conditions applied to essential workers or terms and conditions otherwise imposed by the Commissioner in the interest of public health.

 

Guidance is as follows:

 

Short Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of less than 12 hours.

 

This includes instances such as an essential worker passing through New York, delivering goods, awaiting flight layovers, and other short duration activities.

 

Essential workers should stay in their vehicle and/or limit personal exposure by avoiding public spaces as much as possible.

 

Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect workspaces.

 

Essential workers are required, to the extent possible, to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

 

Medium Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of less than 36 hours, requiring them to stay overnight. 

 

This includes instances such as an essential worker delivering multiple goods in New York, awaiting longer flight layover, and other medium duration activities.

 

Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect workspaces.

 

Essential workers are required, to the extent possible, to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

 

Long Term – for essential workers traveling to New York State for a period of greater than 36 hours, requiring them to stay several days.

 

This includes instances such as an essential worker working on longer projects, fulfilling extended employment obligations, and other longer duration activities.

 

Essential workers should seek diagnostic testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible upon arrival (within 24 hours) to ensure they are not positive.

 

Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing, clean and disinfect workspaces for a minimum of 14 days.

 

Essential workers, to the extent possible, are required to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings for a period of, at least, 7 days.

 

Essential workers and their employers are expected to comply with previously issued DOH guidance regarding return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the employee had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19. Additionally, this guidance may be superseded by more specific industry guidance for a particular industry (e.g., for a nursing home worker, a negative test PCR test will be required before return to work). Consult with your employer regarding whether there is industry-specific guidance that may apply to you.

 

Please consult the DOH website https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home for additional details and information regarding isolation procedures for when a person under quarantine is diagnosed with COVID-19 or develops symptoms.

 

For reference, an “essential worker” is (1) any individual employed by an entity included on the Empire State Development (ESD) Essential Business list; or (2) any individual who meets the COVID-19 testing criteria, pursuant to their status as either an individual who is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or in any position within a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate care setting, or an individual who is employed as an essential employee who directly interacts with the public while working, pursuant to DOH Protocol for COVID-19 Testing, issued May 31, 2020, or (3) any other worker deemed such by the Commissioner of Health.