- For the 2020-21 school year, schools can reopen if their region is in Phase 4 and the regions 14-day average infection rate has remained below 5% since reopening began. Schools that have reopened must close if the regions 7-day average infection rate exceeds 9% after Aug. 1.
- To protect the health of students, faculty and staff, the following guidelines must be followed:
- Everyone must wear face masks in school facilities and on school grounds, though students should be permitted to remove their masks during meals, instruction and for short breaks, as long as they maintain social distance. Students must also wear face masks on school buses and measures should be considered to reduce bus density.
- Everyone must maintain a distance of at least six feet in all directions, or physical barriers must constructed if maintaining that distance isnt possible. When students are singing, playing wind instruments or engaged in aerobic exercise, a distance of 12 feet must be maintained.
- To the greatest extent possible, schools should cohort students. Cohorts are self-contained, reasonably sized groups of students that must remain fixed for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency. Schools must also limit intermingling between cohorts as much as possible.
- Students, faculty, staff and any other visitors must be screened before entering school facilities. Any person with a temperature above 100.0°F must be denied entry or sent to a dedicated pickup area. Faculty and staff must also answer daily screening questionnaires, while students should periodically fill out questionnaires.
- Schools must develop specific policies for vulnerable populations, including students, faculty and staff, that accommodate their specific situations to the greatest extent possible.
- For more information on school reopening guidelines, visit: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Pre-K_to_Grade_12_Schools_MasterGuidence.pdf
- During Phase 3, the following categories of businesses can resume operations:
- Restaurants/Food Services (Indoor dining, except in New York City)
- Personal Care (Nail salons, tattoo parlors, spas, massage services)
- Regions in at least Phase 3 can resume low-risk youth sports which includes baseball, cross country, crew, field hockey, gymnastics and softball as long as spectators are limited to two per child. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-low-risk-youth-sports-regions-phase-three-can-begin-july-6th)
- Nursing homes and long-term care facilities can begin to allow visitors for compassionate care situations. The facilities can only allow visitors if theyve reported no new COVID-19 cases in 14 days, limit visits to a maximum of two guests at a time, restrict visitation to 10% of residents at one time and pre-screen all visitors. (https://health.ny.gov/press/releases/2020/2020-09-15_revisions_to_nursing_homes_visitation_guidelines.htm)
- During Phase 4, the following categories of businesses can resume operations:
- Higher Education
- Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment
- Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment
- Media Production
- COVID-19 diagnostic testing is available to all New Yorkers statewide. (coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing).
- Remember, you still need to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 888-364-3065 or your health care provider. To find a testing location near you, visit: coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.
Changes to Day-to-Day Life
- All regions of the state are now in at least Phase 4 of the reopening process. To learn more about the reopening criteria, visit: forward.ny.gov/metrics-guide-reopening-new-york.
- Agritourism businesses such as apple orchards, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms can reopen, as long as they adhere to social distancing and face mask protocols and limit customers to 33% of maximum occupancy for outdoor activities and 25% of maximum occupancy for indoor activities. (https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/09/agritourismfaq.pdf)
- At this time, petting zoos are not permitted, but animal exhibits can now reopen so long as they adhere to state safety guidelines. (https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/09/agritourismfaq.pdf)
- Restaurants and bars can now provide indoor and outdoor dining, as long as all staff wear face coverings and customers wear face coverings when not seated. For indoor dining (excluding New York City), capacity must be limited to 50% of maximum occupancy and tables must be spaced 6 feet apart or, if not possible, physical barriers must be implemented. For outdoor dining, tables must also be spaced 6 feet apart or be separated by barriers if that isnt possible. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-outdoor-dining-restaurants-will-be-permitted-phase-two-reopening; https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Food_Services_Summary_Guidelines.pdf)
- Restaurants in New York City can resume indoor dining at 25% capacity as long as strict safety protocols are followed, including temperature checks for all customers and contact information for tracing. Bar service will not be permitted, and restaurants will be required to close at midnight. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-indoor-dining-new-york-city-allowed-resume-beginning-september-30-25)
- Houses of worship can reopen with a 33% occupancy limit as long as social distancing and other safety measures are in place. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-audio-photos-rush-transcript-governor-cuomo-announces-lowest-number-hospitalizations-and; https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-five-regions-track-enter-phase-iv-reopening-friday)
- Retail stores can offer in-store service as long as they reduce maximum store capacity by 50% and require face coverings for customers and customer-facing employees. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/GeneralRetailSummaryGuidance.pdf)
- Horse racing tracks statewide and Watkins Glen International Racetrack are now allowed to open without spectators. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-announces-horse-racing-tracks-statewide-and)
- Outdoor tennis courts and drive-in movie theaters statewide can now resume service as long as they adhere to social distancing measures. (https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo/status/1259876885619716098?s=20)
- In coordination with Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey, New York State beaches which includes local beaches and lake shores can now open. Social distancing measures will remain in effect. Beaches are limited to 50% capacity, concession stands will remain closed and contact activities are prohibited. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-governor-murphy-governor-lamont-governor-carney-announce-multi-state-agreement)
- Swimming is permitted at beaches operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Visit www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/beaches to learn more.
- Garage sales are now permitted statewide, as long as people maintain social distancing, wear face masks and adhere to a 10-person limit. (https://twitter.com/LtGovHochulNY/status/1271057092019798017)
- Dentist offices may now open for non-emergency services, as long as they adhere to state safety regulations. For a complete list of state guidelines, visit: www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/DentistryMasterGuidance.pdf
- Hospitals and group homes statewide can allow visitors at their discretion. Facilities that allow visitation must adhere to state guidelines, including temperature checks for all visitors. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-audio-photos-rush-transcript-governor-cuomo-announces-us-open-be-held-without-fans-august)