By Daniel I. Small and Robert S. Whitman

Seyfarth Synopsis: With little fanfare and no public reporting, the New York Commissioner of Health extended the designation of COVID-19 as highly contagious, thereby requiring employers to keep their safety plans activated through October 31, 2021. 

As previously reported (herehere, and here), New York State’s health commissioner designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health, requiring employers to activate their safety plans under the NY HERO Act.  The designation initially noted that it was to remain in effect until September 30, 2021 unless extended further.  With the designation in place, employers were required to activate their respective Disease Exposure Prevention Plan and put into place the various mitigation measures specified therein.

With no publicity, the health commissioner issued a revised designation under the NY HERO Act requiring employers to continue implementing their respective Disease Exposure Prevention Plan through October 31, at which time the commissioner will decide once again whether to extend the designation further.

Therefore, employers must continue to implement the various disease-prevention measures including daily health screenings and masking for workplaces where all individuals on premises are not fully-vaccinated, among other requirements.

Seyfarth will continue to monitor developments in this space and provide updates when available