Reopening of New York Business Guidelines


The Governor’s office has released guidelines and business safety templates for industries allowed to begin reopening in phase one. As of Friday, May 15, select industries in regions of the state that have met seven public health metrics will be allowed to start reopening. Guidelines for industry sectors for reopening have been issued here As of May 14, the Capital Region has achieved 5/7 reopening metrics.

Updates on these metrics are being tracked on the state’s Regional Monitoring Dashboard. Data updated as of May 14th


Reopening Phases Overview

Reopening phases are based on the economic impact of the industry and the probability of a high or low infection rate. Industries with high economic impact and low contact with customers will be the first to open. Those with high contact and low economic impact will be the last to open.

Businesses, industries, and institutions are required to have reopening plans to keep employees and consumers safe. Even if a region does not reopen on May 15th, plans should be in place and preparations, including cleaning and protective equipment procurement.

  • Region reopening is also dependent on the Health Care System and Testing Capacity. Each region must have a predetermined number of hospital and intensive care beds available to prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed with any resurgence in cases. Testing and tracing requirements must also be met.
  • Regional leaders must coordinate with other regions to reopen schools, transportation systems, and to monitor infection rates throughout the state.
  • If a region reopens and their transmission rate goes above 1.1, reopening processes must be stopped.
  • Regional Control Rooms will be created for each region to oversee the reopening process. The control room group of elected officials and health professionals will be working directly with the state in each region. These groups will have the most up to date data to allow for immediate decision making and tracking of cases and criteria.

Phases Include:

Phase 1
• Construction
• Manufacturing
• Wholesale Trade
• Select Retail for Curbside Pickup Only
• Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

Phase 2
• Professional Services
• Finance and Insurance
• Retail
• Administrative Support
• Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing

Phase 3
• Restaurants and Food Services

Phase 4
• Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
• Education


NY Forward: A Guide to Reopening

Once the Capital Region and the rest of the state can reopen, where do we go from there? The Governor released NY Forward: A Guide to Reopening New York and Building Back Better. The guide provides details on the phased reopening plan, and transition into a new longer phase of recovery. A foundation of the longer term recovery stresses innovation and advances that seek to push further progress for the Capital Region and NYS as a whole. For more information from the state about reopening, check out the New York Forward homepage here.

Check out the Phase 1 industry guidelines below.


Agriculture, forestry, Fishing & Hunting

Retail Trade


Wholesale Trade

Have more questions about the Capital Region’s population and development during COVID-19? Check out our April 30th webinar “COVID-19 Impacts on Transportation and Migration Patterns” where presenters from Barton & Loguidice and the Capital District Regional Transportation Committee shared perspectives on population, development and transportation trends before and during the COVID-19 crisis.