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November 30, 2021

New York State Department of Health Designates COVID-19 an Airborne Infectious Disease under New York HERO Act

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On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as a "highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health" under the NY HERO Act. Governor Hochul largely attributed the designation to the continued spread of the Delta variant.

The Governor's designation of COVID-19 under the NY HERO Act triggers the following obligations of employers, who must now: (1) review their exposure prevention plan and update as necessary, to ensure that it reflects current information, guidance, and requirements issued by federal, state, and local governments related to COVID-19; (2) finalize and activate the plan; (3) provide a verbal review of the plan with their employees (this can be done virtually or telephonically); and (4) provide each employee with a copy of the plan, post the plan prominently in the workplace, and ensure that it is accessible to employees during all work shifts.

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