ATTENTION NEW YORK EMPLOYERS: Important Updates to NY HERO Act Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan Requirements

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As previously described in our September 10, 2021 e-Alert, the New York Department of Health designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a risk of harm to the public. As such, employers subject to the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (the “NY HERO Act”) were required to review, finalize, activate and distribute their Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plans (“Prevention Plans”). Employers must also provide a verbal review of the Prevention Plans with their employees.

On September 30, 2021, the Commissioner of the New York Department of Health announced that the designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a risk of harm to the public will continue until October 31, 2021. This means that Prevention Plans must continue to be activated until at least October 31, 2021, at which time the Commissioner will review this designation. 

Additionally, the New York Department of Labor (“NY DOL”) has updated its Model Prevention Plan (previously described in our July 9, 2021 e-Alert) to specify masking requirements for workplaces based on vaccination status. The Model Prevention Plan previously required face coverings for all workplaces. Now, the updated Model Prevention Plan specifies that face coverings should be worn in accordance with applicable New York and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidance. As of the date of this e-Alert, this means:

  • For workplaces where all individuals on-premises are fully vaccinated (including but not limited to employees), face coverings are recommended but not required, except that they are required in certain designated industries, including schools, childcare facilities, and certain health care settings.
  • For all other workplaces, individuals must wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

NFC will continue to keep you apprised of developments relating to the NY HERO Act. If you have any questions relating to the NY HERO Act or would like guidance relating to your Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan or any other policy, please feel free to reach out to the NFC Attorney with whom you typically work or call us at 973.665.9100.


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