CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR
THE GROCERY INDUSTRY
EXECUTIVE ORDER 202.34: became effective May 28th through June 27th (though always subject to an extension) The two provisions specific to mask are as follows:
Executive Order 202.17 contained a directive that required any individual over age 2, and able to medically tolerate a face-covering, to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place. Now, pursuant to Executive Order 202.34, business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf, shall have the discretion to ensure compliance with mask directive of Executive Order 202.17, including the discretion to deny admittance to individuals who fail to comply with the directive in Executive Order 202.17 or to require or compel their removal if they fail to adhere to such directive.
The building owner or business operator shall not be subject to a claim of violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment, or frustration of purpose, solely due to their enforcement of the Executive Order 202.17 mask directive. Nothing in Executive Order 202.34 prohibits or limits the right of New York State and local enforcement authorities from imposing fines or other penalties for any violation of the directive in Executive Order 202.17. Executive Order 202.34 shall be applied in a manner consistent with the American with Disabilities Act or any provision of either New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, or any other provision of law.
- does not issue any new directives. This Executive Order, however, continues the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Orders 202.15, 202.16, 202.17, 202.18, 202.19, 202.20, and 202.21, for thirty days until June 7, 2020. Among some of those provisions are:
- Permitting manufacturers, repackers, or wholesalers of prescription drugs or devices, physically located outside of New York and not registered in New York, but licensed and/or registered in any other state, to deliver into New York, prescription drugs or devices. Executive Order 202.15;
- Requiring employees who are present in an essential businesses’ workplace to wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public and that employers must provide, at their own cost and expense, the face coverings for their employees. Executive Order 202.16
- Requiring an individual to cover his or her nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance. Executive Order 202.17
- Authorizes licensed pharmacists to order COVID-19 tests, approved by the FDA, to detect SARS-CoV-2 or its antibodies, and to administer COVID-19 tests subject to certificate of waiver requirements pursuant to the Federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988, in patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection, or suspected of having recovered from COVID-19 infection, subject to completion of appropriate training developed by the State Health Department.
- Permits licensed pharmacists to be designated as a qualified healthcare professional for the purpose of directing a limited service laboratory, pursuant to subdivision 579(3) of the New York State Public Health Law, to test patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection or its antibodies provided that such test is FDA-approved and waived for use in a limited service laboratory.
- NYS has released interim guidance regarding public face covering requirements. Interim Guidance on Executive Orders 202.17 and 202.18 Requiring Face Coverings in Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak, April 17, 2020.
- As it relates to masks, that language is specifically this: For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law.
- The order allows for a fine of up to $1000 for violations of social distancing restrictions as ordered by the Governor.
- This is the exec order from 3/20 which announced the reduction of the workforce by 100% for nonessential businesses. This closing takes effect at 8pm on 3/22, and there is no date that it will be lifted at this time.
- Per the Governor’s executive order 3/18- Mandatory statewide, all businesses must adhere to no more than 50% workforce on premises. The Executive Order will exempt essential services, grocery, food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies, etc.
PLASTIC BAG BAN
- Enforcement Date of the plastic bag ban has been extended to July 15th 2020, earliest. The ban was delayed on multiple occasions throughout COVID. Most recently it was delayed until June 15th with the caveat that on or after that date at least 30 days notice would be given to retailers before the ban would be enforced. This means the earliest date possible is July 15th.
- Paper Carryout Bag Reduction Fee – While the plastic bag ban has not been enforced since its effective date of March 1st, the fee on paper bags has always remained. On March 1st New York City, Tompkins County and Suffolk County have had the fee on paper bags.It has been announced that the City of Troy and the City of White Plains have determined to enact that fee on paper bags beginning on June 1st.
COVID RELATED LAWS /
- Liability: Please see uploaded to the FIA website a letter signed by 19 business organizations that has been sent to lawmakers, members of the Cuomo Administration and members of the NY Forward Advisory Committee.
- Public Service Messaging: FIANY circulated a memo to legislators and the media, requesting that New York’s leaders issue public service messaging on the importance, and obligation for social distancing in stores. The memo can be found on our website. Thus far a number of state legislators have shared the memo with their networks.
- New York City COVID-19 Relief Package – Premiums for essential workers Legislation was introduced at a City Council meeting that would require large employers to pay premiums to certain essential non-salaried workers: Employers with more than 100 employees would pay hourly workers $30 for a shift under four hours, $60 for a shift of four to eight hours and $75 dollars for any shift over eight hours. The obligation reportedly would end when the state of emergency is lifted. Food Industry Alliance of New York State is part of the businesses coalition that is mobilizing to oppose the legislation.
- Paid Sick Leave– a law specific to COVID and precautionary/ mandatory quarantines was passed in NY
New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets
How to deliver grocers in a sanitize manner
Recommendations for social distancing in stores
Executive Orer 202.15