Employee COVID-19 Information
This page has been created to provide employees with information about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects upon them.
A Return to Normal Operations
As of June 18, 2021, the NYS Department of Health has issued revised guidance for state agencies and authorities during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
This revised guidance for state agencies and authorities during the COVID-19 public
was created to provide state agencies and authorities and their leaders, managers, employees, contractors, vendors, and the public with the appropriate health precautions as restrictions on public and
private sector activities are lifted given New York’s significant progress in COVID-19 vaccinations and
decline in new COVID-19 cases. Specifically, this revised guidance provides provisions that each agency
and authority employee must follow as they return to normal operations and activities.
This revised guidance represents the minimum requirements necessary to operate in
a manner that is
consistent with the current public health situation but should not be considered exhaustive. State agencies and authorities may have different operational needs that require other protocols or policies to
address their specific workplace(s) and nature of work, particularly agencies that are involved in public
transit, direct care/social services, corrections and detention, and health care delivery consistent with
current federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. State agencies involved in those activities must consult their respective deputy secretary for additional guidance.
- Capacity — State agency or authority workplace capacity is only limited by the space available
for individuals to maintain social distancing based on vaccination status. For fully
vaccinated individuals, no social distancing is required.
- At this time, agencies shall not require proof of vaccination status from employees. However, all employees must affirm that they have read this guidance, understand its provisions, and will adhere to its requirements. Pursuant to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) memorandum, “State Agency In-Person Presence & Telecommuting Program,” issued June 18, 2021, a copy of all employee affirmations must be kept on file with each agency’s human resources (HR) office by July 9, 2021, or no later than three business days after an employee returns to in-person work.
- Distancing — Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to be socially distanced and unvaccinated/unknown vaccination status individuals need to maintain six feet of social distance, in accordance with federal CDC guidelines. In lieu of six feet of social distance, appropriate physical barriers may be used so long as they do not present a health or safety hazard. View CDC Guidelines
- Masks — Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks and unvaccinated/unknown vaccination status individuals need to wear masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidelines. Unvaccinated/unknown vaccination status individuals may remove their mask indoors while socially distanced, seated, and eating/drinking or while working at their workstation. Unvaccinated/unknown may remove their mask outdoors unless they are in a gathering or crowded event where they are unable to maintain six feet of social distancing. View CDC Guidelines
- Hand Hygiene — State agencies and authorities must provide hand hygiene stations or supplies within workplaces for individuals to use; specifically, hand washing, such as soap, running water or disposable towels or hand sanitizing, such as alcohol-based sanitizer with 60 percent or more alcohol where hand washing may not be available or practical.
- Cleaning and Disinfection — State agencies and authorities must clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces at least once a day, such as common areas and shared workstations, and regularly clean and disinfect other surfaces as necessary given the level of traffic and type of individuals who use the space and general risk of community transmission of COVID-19.
- Communication — State agencies and authorities must clearly communicate to individuals through signage, markers, or other applicable methods the health precautions that are in effect within the specific workplace setting based upon these provisions and any other restrictions that the agency or authority may choose to implement, such as capacity limits, social distancing, or masks.
- Ventilation and Air Filtration — State agencies and authorities should increase outdoor airflow and ventilation rates in indoor settings to the extent compatible with individual comfort and safety and in accordance with building codes and standards, as well as applicable lease, contract, or other use agreement requirements; in indoor areas where air is recirculated, should consider higher rated filtration within HVAC systems as supported by the filter rack and air handling system so long as the system can perform to the level of heating and cooling that it was able to provide prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency; and consider other appropriate indoor air quality measures, such as portable fans, filters and air cleaners.
- Health Screening — State agencies and authorities may continue to health screen individuals for (1) COVID-19 symptoms, (2) recent close contacts, and (3) recent positive COVID-19 test result, prior to, or immediately upon, arrival to the workplace, regardless of individual vaccination status. Screening may be performed via signage, by e-mail/website, by telephone, or by electronic survey before individuals arrive to work. Temperature checks are no longer required as a part of health screening.
- Contact Information — While not required by this guidance, state agencies may consider implementing ways to collect contact information for contractors, vendors, and visitors before or upon entering the agency workplace, providing their name, address, and phone number or e-mail address for use in potential contact tracing efforts. Information may be collected through any means, including but not limited to a digital application or paper form. Information should be maintained for a minimum period of 28 days and made available to state or local health departments upon request.