NY State Goes on PAUSE Sunday Night – What Does It Mean?
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order this week dubbed PAUSE, which takes effect statewide on Sunday night at 8:00pm.
Cuomo said Saturday that upwards of 40% of New Yorkers could ultimately be infected with coronavirus. He's maintained since starting implimentation of various restrictions that the goal is to slow the spread of the virus - 'flatten the curve' - and prevent the state's health care facilities from becoming overwhelmed.
The governor further said Saturday the pandemic could last months. For now, his PAUSE restrictions are in place until further notice.
PAUSE - Police that Assures the Uniform Safety of Everyone
The ten-point plan outlines business closures and restricted social interactions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus:
Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed;
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;
Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced;
When in public individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others;
Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
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;
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;
Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using isopropyl alcohol wipes.
While the Governor is restricting business interactions to strictly 'essential services' there is an extensive list of services that fall under that designation. Via Empire State Development Corporation's website:
For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” means:
1. Essential health care operations including
- research and laboratory services
- walk-in-care health facilities
- emergency veterinary and livestock services
- elder care
- medical wholesale and distribution
- home health care workers or aides for the elderly
- doctor and emergency dental
- nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
- medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
2. Essential infrastructure including
- utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
- public water and wastewater
- telecommunications and data centers
- transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
- hotels, and places of accommodation
3. Essential manufacturing including
- food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
- medical equipment/instruments
- sanitary products
- household paper products
4. Essential retail including
- grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
- convenience stores
- farmer’s markets
- gas stations
- restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
- hardware and building material stores
5. Essential services including
- trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
- mail and shipping services
- building cleaning and maintenance
- child care services
- auto repair
- warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
- funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
- storage for essential businesses
- animal shelters
6. News media
7. Financial Institutions including
- services related to financial markets
8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including
- homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
- food banks
- human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
9. Construction including
- skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
- other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
- defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government
11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses including
- law enforcement
- fire prevention and response
- building code enforcement
- emergency management and response
- building cleaners or janitors
- general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
- automotive repair
12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services:
- technology support for online services
- child care programs and services
- government owned or leased buildings
- essential government services
If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.
Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained.
Every business is strongly urged to maintain social distance to the extent possible, even if designated essential.
Additionally, if you are the sole proprietor of a business, or if your business can be run by only one employee and your service is not listed above, you are exempt. Per ESDC:
- Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.
- Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance.
If you still don't fit into the above, you can requst an exemption here.
Further, Cuomo's PAUSE measure enacts Matilda's Law, named after his mother which calls for special action to be taken for those 70 and older, those compromised immune systems or underlying health issues:
The measure requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance. If it is necessary to visit such individuals, the visitor should get prescreened by taking temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms. Both individuals should wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
The NY State PAUSE also:
- Directs 90-Day Moratorium on Any Residential or Commercial Evictions
- Asks PPE Product Providers to Sell Non-Essential Products to the State and Encourages Companies to Begin Manufacturing PPE Products
As of Saturday afternoon, New York's confirmed cases of COVID-19 had surpassed 10,000. Here in the Mohawk Valley, though, the number of positive test results remained limited
- Oneida County - 5 confirmed cases
- Herkimer County - 3 confirmed cases
- Madison County - 1 confirmed case