About COVID-19

As cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) increase around the world, government and public health leaders are encouraging businesses to consider their responses to highly contagious diseases. This toolkit has been designed by BIO to keep you informed on several areas of interest.

Message from the CEO

Governor Cuomo Issues New Details on Opening Economy for Non-Essential Business

May 12, 2020

On May 11, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced more details on his plan to reopen New York businesses currently closed due to the novel coronavirus. As you are aware, New York had been “paused” until May 15. In recent days, the Governor previewed a tiered opening plan according to region and type of business. The New York Forward Book may be found here.

The state will “un-pause” by region once that region has met a pre-determined set of criteria as outlined below:

  • 14-day decline in hospitalizations or under 15 new hospitalizations (3-day average)
  • 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than 5 deaths (3-day ave.)
  • New hospitalizations – under 2 per 100,000 residents (3-day rolling ave.)
  • Share of total hospital beds available is over 30%
  • Share of ICU beds available is over 30%
  • For every 1,000 residents, 30 must be tested monthly
    • 7-day average of new tests per day
  • At least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents

As of today, there are three of the ten regions of the state that meet the criteria: Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. There are other regions which are close to meeting the criteria, but the downstate areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester need a greater reduction in the level of hospitalizations in order to start reopening.

Each region will have a “control room” consisting mainly of elected officials who are tasked with monitoring the criteria and will serve as an early alarm if infections start to rise above an acceptable threshold. In that case, these officials would trip a “circuit breaker” that serves an early warning. Presumably the circuit breaker would pause the re-opening phases.

There will be some industries that will open statewide this Friday, May 15th, including landscaping and gardening, low-risk outdoor recreational activities (like tennis) and drive-in movie theaters.

As of today, the Governor has divided current non-essential business into four groups of business type and placed each into Phase 1 – 4 for reopening depending on the risk of infection and impact on the economy.
The four groups are:
Phase 1 – Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Supply Chain and Select Retail for Curbside Pickup
Phase 2 – Professional Services, Finance and Insurance, Retail, Administrative Support and Real Estate/Rental Leasing
Phase 3 – Restaurants/Food services
Phase 4 – Arts/Entertainment/Recreation, Education

In addition to identifying the types of business allowed to reopen in Phase 1, each business must meet safety precautions that:

  1. Protect employees and customers, such as staggered shifts to reduce employee density in the workplace, and enacting social distancing protocols,
  2. Make changes to the physical workspace, i.e., require masks if in close contact, and implementing strict cleaning protocols, and
  3. Implement processes that meet public health obligations such as screening individuals when entering the workplace or reporting confirmed positives to customers.

The Governor indicated during his press conference today that each region will be largely responsible for overseeing specific re-opening decisions. We expect that the the timing of moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2 will require that all of the criteria above are met, and infection rates are still within the acceptable levels. Empire State Development will post a FAQ for business questions. At the moment, there is an email set up for each region, so if you have specific questions about business re-opening decisions in your region, please use these emails or reach out to NewYorkBIO for help.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have questions or need further guidance.

Jennifer Hawks Bland

Key Issues

New York State COVID-19 Business Guidance
Over the past weeks, in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus in New York, Governor Cuomo has issued a series of Executive Orders. These orders, which are linked below, aim to limit the number of in-person individuals in offices and public gathering places. The Governor has designated certain businesses as “essential” and the state’s economic development agency, Empire State Development has issued guidance, which is also below.

NewYorkBIO has issued guidance to its members. If you have follow-up questions, please reach out to info@newyorkbio.org

Executive Orders

202.6: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2026-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

202.7: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

202.8: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2028-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

202.14: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20214-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Empire State Development

Guidance on Executive Order to Limit In-Person Workforce

Staying up to Date


The World Health Organization is providing daily situation reports
Discover More


The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention response updates
Stay Updated


COVID-19 Therapeutic Development Tracker
Track Innovation


Johns Hopkins University maintains an interactive map
See Map

Business Continuity

Both CDC’s and WHO’s overarching recommendations for employers include:

  • Actively encouraging sick employees to stay home;
  • Separating sick employees who report to work, and sending them home;
  • Emphasizing respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees;
  • Performing routine environmental cleaning, particularly for frequently touched surfaces and objects; and
  • Advising employees before traveling to consult national travel advice before business trips.

Webinar: R&D Tax Credits – Qualifications and Benefits for Life Sciences

Webinar: How Small and Medium Size Businesses can Prepare for the Impact of COVID-19

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidance

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Information Portal

World Health Organization (WHO) Advice for the Public


Travel Guidance

Around the world, companies are taking various positions on travel in light of COVID-19. Whatever the best approach for your organization, organizations are encouraged to develop a policy and clearly communicate it to employees.

What we know – As of March 5, 2020:

– Individuals arriving from China to the U.S. will be routed to one of 11 designated airports and be subject to special screening and possible additional restrictions.

– Individuals coming into the U.S. from South Korea and Italy will be subject to special screening, according to the CDC.

– For the latest CDC Risk Assessment, by County, visit the CDC website.

– The U.S. government has not recommended suspending travel within the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Risk Assessment by Country

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – Think Global Health

Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Coronavirus Poll – Feb. 25, 2020


Supply Chain Resources

Healthcare Ready

Healthcare Ready (formerly RxResponse), is an independent non-profit that serves as a convener of public and private sector partners to strengthen healthcare systems before, during, and after disasters.  Healthcare Ready is gathering information from organizations, including information on the current demands of pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment (PPE). To respond to their survey on supply chain issues, click here.

Healthcare Ready also is tracking issues related to workforce, business continuity, and transportation and trade restrictions for potential impacts on the supply chain, and is working with federal government partners to determine what guidance or practices will be used, if any, to allow distributors to continue to move product. The organization is also tracking international trade and transportation flows around the world for global logistics implications.

For questions or to request the assistance of the Healthcare Ready Support Team, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team at Alerts@HealthcareReady.Org or 866-247-2694.

FDA’s Monitoring of Supply Chain Shortages:

Additionally, the FDA has been monitoring the drug supply chain and communicating with manufacturers related to the possibility of shortages of drugs, API, and related supplies. On February 25th, the FDA announced it had identified 20 drugs at risk of shortage. As of February 28th, FDA has reported a shortage of one drug as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Manufacturers of all prescription drugs are required to notify the FDA of a permanent discontinuance or temporary interruption in manufacturing that is likely to lead to a meaningful disruption in the supply of a covered drug in the United States. The notification is required six months in advance, or if that is not possible, as soon as practicable, but no later than 5 business days after the discontinuance or interruption in manufacturing.

Shortages or supply issues should be reported to the FDA through the CDER Direct NextGen PortalAdditional information on reporting shortages or supply issues is available from the FDA.

How to Help

Opportunities for Supply or Monetary Donations

Healthcare Ready is working with NGO partners, such as the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, to coordinate donations to the relief organizations working in China and around the world. For monetary donations to Healthcare Ready, visit the Healthcare Ready website. For donations of pharmaceutical products, other supplies, or space on shipments to impacted areas, contact Healthcare Ready at alerts@healthcareready.org.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aid Tracker