Advice to Employers

COVID-19 Declared an Airborne Infectious Disease

On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the HERO Act. This designation requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans. 

Under this new law, the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL), in consultation with the NYS Department of Health, has developed a new Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and various industry-specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease. Employers can choose to adopt the applicable policy template/plan provided by NYS DOL or establish an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the standard’s minimum requirements.

The airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans must go into effect when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health. 

 What worksites need to know:

The standard and model plans are available in English and will be available in Spanish in the coming days. Employers are required to provide a copy of the adopted airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan and post the same in a visible and prominent location within each worksite. Templates and resources are available:

Department of Labor will be sharing more details about this law in the near future. Check this website for updates:

 For questions employers can email:

(Updated 9/8/2021) 

To Mask or Not to Mask

Everyone 2 years or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection and prevent possibly spreading COVID-19 to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission

Guidance Document for Businesses from the CDC

NYSDOH Business Guidance Information

A Gentle Reminder for Businesses

If employees are ill (cough, fever and shortness of breath) they should stay home until they are fully recovered.

Healthcare providers make the decision to test for COVID-19. COVID-19 testing is available at local pharmacies and Urgent Care centers. 

YOU are the best defense against COVID-19!

Help to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, getting a your recommended COVID-19 vaccine, washing your hands and cleaning frequently touched surfaces. Best advice: Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19!

(Updated 1/13/2002)