County Executive Ryan shared updates on the re-opening process and announces“Reopening Support Team”
KINGSTON, N.Y. – County Executive Ryan addressed the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce today during their Virtual Breakfast. In his remarks, he updated businesses on the county’s response to COVID-19 and how businesses can prepare to safely re-open. County Executive Ryan announced a new “Reopening Support Team” which will be managed by the County’s Department of Economic Development. The Reopening Support Team will provide weekly webinars, diagnostic seminars, and deep-dive sessions for hundreds of Ulster County businesses over the next six months, focused on supporting and guiding them through all aspects of business recovery and reopening in the wake of COVID-19. The program will also strengthen Ulster County entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing strategy support coaching which includes one-on-one assistance.
“As a former business owner, I know firsthand how challenging running a business can be under regular circumstances,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “My office and our entire Economic Development team will continue to do everything we can to assist our businesses during this difficult time. The Reopening Support Team will serve as an important resource to provide direct guidance to our local business community as they navigate the process of reopening. We are working non-stop to meet the needs of our business community and we stand ready to help ensure that our businesses can reopen in a safe and responsible way.”
While we are not at Phase 1 of UNPAUSE New York yet, County Executive Ryan also reminded businesses that small retailers can conduct business through curbside delivery or home delivery. Businesses who wish to use this option must abide by the following:
- There can be only one employee within the store fulfilling phone or internet orders.
- Others can be making deliveries curbside or to homes and businesses on behalf of that store.
- Appropriate precautions must be used such as employees and customers all maintaining at least six feet social distance from each other, wearing mouth- and nose-covering masks, and repeated thorough hand washing or sanitizing.
Besides this new provision for small stores, other “essential retail” permitted to responsibly continue operations include:
- grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
- convenience stores
- farmer’s markets
- gas stations
- restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
- hardware, appliance, and building material stores
- pet food
- telecommunications to service existing customers and accounts
- in regions that are not within the first phase of the state’s regional reopening plan, delivery for orders placed remotely via phone or online at non-essential retail establishments; provided, however, that only one employee is physically present at the business location to fulfill orders
All businesses in New York State will be required to develop their own safety plans before reopening, in alignment with Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward Plan. According to guidance released by the Ulster County Office of Economic Development, the 56 industry category sectors included in the Phase 1 reopening should begin preparing now so they may safely and legally reopen once the Pause is lifted in the Mid-Hudson region.
While plans do not have to be submitted to New York State for approval, they must be retained on the premises of the business and be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
Safety plan templates are available by visiting https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase and guidance and resources specific to Ulster County can be found at https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/businesses/
Last week, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan relaunched the Ulster County COVID-19 Dashboard which allows users to see where Ulster County and the broader Mid-Hudson Region stand in relation to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s phased reopening plan.
Currently, Ulster County meets 7 of 7 and the Mid-Hudson Region meets 5 of the 7. The Mid-Hudson Region includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan, regions that meet all 7 criteria are allowed to open certain businesses. The Phase One reopening plan would allow for construction, manufacturing, retail (curbside pickup), wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.
There are currently 1615 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 69 fatalities in Ulster County.
For additional information about COVID-19 visit: https://ulstercountyny.gov/coronavirus
Ulster County COVID-19 Hotline: 845-443-8888
NYS Coronavirus Information Hotline: 888-364-3065