May 12, 2020
NY Forward – Southern Tier on Track to Begin Phased Reopening
On May 11th Governor Cuomo announced the Southern Tier, which includes Tompkins County, is on track to begin a regional, phased reopening. Starting on May 15th, the Southern Tier can begin a phased re-opening as follows:

  • Phase 1 – Construction, Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, Curbside pick-up service for Retail, and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting

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

  • Phase 3 – Restaurants/Food services and Hotels/Accommodations

  • Phase 4 – Arts/Entertainment/Recreation, Education

It is anticipated that at least 14 days will follow each phase. More detail on the four phases and specific types of businesses can be found HERE .

A guide to the State's " NY Forward Reopening " Plan is available  HERE .

The Governor also launched the regional monitoring dashboard , which is available  HERE . The dashboard monitors hospitalization rates, death rates, number of new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, testing and contact tracing capacity. Regional Control Rooms have been established to monitor the dashboard metrics within each region during reopening, alert the State if the region's metrics no longer meet the reopening guidelines, and adjust the regional reopening plan accordingly. Members of each regional control room can be found  HERE .

Business Reopening Plans

B usinesses will need to self-certify through a portal (not yet available), and will be required to have a plan in place in each location, identifying safety measures that have been taken to protect employees a n d consumers, make the physical workspace safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business . The State's guidance so far is as follows:

Employees and Customers
  • Adjustments to workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace
  • Enacting social distancing protocols
  • Restricting non-essential travel for employees.

Physical Workspace
  • Requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent close contact with others
  • Implementing strict cleaning and sanitation standards.

  • Continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace
  • Continuous tracing, tracking and reporting of cases
  • Develop liability processes
There are many industry associations that have been distributing best practices for re-opening and we recognize that each business will need to develop their own plans that work for them.

The Tompkins County Health Department launched a new website - Tompkins Moving Forward Toward Reopening with additional resources.

As more information becomes available, TCAD will post on our website and send out notifications as appropriate.
Resources for Reopening
PPE for Essential Workers - Cloth masks are available for essential workers from the Tompkins County Emergency Operations Center. Read more here

Access to COVID-19 Testing Available to anyone who wants to be tested
Testing for COVID-19 is available to all at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site. Register / More Information
Visit  for a full list of business resources.
Tompkins County Area Development | 607.273.0005 | |