Updated Guidance for Construction under “PAUSE-NY”

| March 30, 2020

Guidance current as of April 24, 2020, per Executive Order 202.6.  The Empire State Development Corporation has issued further updated guidance for construction under the Governor’s “PAUSE-NY” Executive Orders.   Follow the link to ESD Guidance here.

The guidance of April 24, 2020 has been updated for “essential” construction as follows:

  • 9. Construction
    All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work).Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:

    • construction for, or your business provides necessary support for construction projects involving, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;
    • the construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;
    • the construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;
    • the construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;
    • the construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ at:  https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD_EssentialEmployerFAQ_033120.pdf;
    • the construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or
    • the construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.

    At every site, it is required that the personnel working on the site maintain an appropriate social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exits.  Sites that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, as well as cleaning/disinfecting protocols must close. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.

    Construction may continue solely with respect to those employees that must be present at the business location/construction site in support of essential business activities. No other employees/personnel shall be permitted to work in-person at the business location/construction site.  Any other business activities being completed that are not essential are still subject to the restrictions provided by Executive Order 202.

    As noted above, local governments, including municipalities and school districts, are allowed to continue construction projects at this time as government entities are exempt from these essential business restrictions. However, to the greatest extent possible, local governments should postpone any non-essential projects and only proceed with essential projects when they can implement appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Essential projects should be considered those that have a nexus to health and safety of the building occupants or to support the broader essential services that are required to fulfill the critical operations of government or the emergency response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.


The above guidance is in effect until at least May 15, 2020.

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