I hope and trust you enjoyed your holiday weekend. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.16 yesterday afternoon. This Executive Order, the seventeenth (17th) one issued by Governor Cuomo during this state of emergency, modifies or suspends certain New York statutes, laws, codes, rules and regulations as well as sets forth some directives, all of which are designed to combat the COVID-19 crisis in New York State. Executive Order 202.16 is effective from April 12, 2020 through May 12, 2020.
Governor Cuomo has issued three directives in Executive Order 202.16 designed to stem the COVID-19 virus throughout New York State. Although this order is not as extensive as some of his previous ones, the directives contained in Executive Order 202.16 are important to the protection of New Yorkers as they engage in essential businesses in the state.
- Executive Order 202.16 mandates that employees who are present in an essential businesses’ workplace must be provided and wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Critically, the essential businesses and employers must provide, at their own cost and expense, the face coverings for their employees. Local governments or local law enforcement agencies are permitted to enforce this directive as if it were an order issued under Public Health Law section 12 or section 12-b. The directive takes effect Wednesday April 15 at 8 p.m. The directive, however, is silent about the type of face covering that must be offered. That said, Governor Cuomo’s website indicated that the employers were to provide cloth or surgical masks.
- Pursuant to the new Executive Order, New York City’s Law Department shall issue no-action or no-filing letters received during the duration of Executive Order within 45 days from submission of such no-action or no-filing application for essential projects involving affordable housing and homeless shelters. For each application granted by the Law Department which permits the applicant to solicit public interest or public funds preliminary to the filing of an offering statement or for the issuance of a “no-filing required” letter. The New York City Department of Finance shall process and record condominium declarations for essential projects involving hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters within 30 days of receipt of such filing.
- Executive Order 202.16 also postpones any political party caucus scheduled or otherwise required to take place in April or May of 2020 until June 1, 2020, without prejudice. A political caucus, however, may continue or be held if the caucus is able to be held remotely, through use of telephone conference, video conference, and/or other similar service, and provided that notice for any party caucus to be held remotely is satisfied if such notice includes specific information on remote participation and has been filed with the clerk and board of elections at least five days preceding the day of the caucus and published either by newspaper publication thereof once within the village, or on the party ‘s website, or through electronic mail to any previous caucus participant for which the party has an electronic mail address.
SUPENDED OR MODIFIED LAWS
As in prior executive orders, Executive Order 202.16 also suspends or modifies certain laws, codes, rules and regulations to aid in New York’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis through May 12, 2020. The Executive Order, by modifying or suspending the applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations, to the extent necessary:
- Permits individuals to perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, or its antibodies, in specimens collected from individuals suspected of suffering from a COVID-19 infection. The individuals performing such testing must meet the federal requirements for testing personnel appropriate to the assay or device authorized by the FDA or the New York State Department of Health.
- Suspends and modifies provisions of certain laws that could otherwise create a landlord tenant relationship between any individual assisting with the response to COVID-19 or any individual that has been displaced due to COVID-19, and any individual or entity, including but not limited to any hotel owner, hospital, not-for-profit housing provider, hospital, or any other temporary housing provider who provides temporary housing for a period of thirty days or more solely for purposes of assisting in the response to COVD-19.
The copy of Executive Order 202.16 that accompanies this email specifically identifies the applicable laws impacted under these provisions.