New York state is marking the path for businesses in parts of the state to begin re-opening in phases, see the New York Forward website. Phase 1 of the plan includes the parts of agriculture that are already operating as “essential” but it also includes greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production. Different regions of the state can enter Phase 1 as they achieve seven specific metrics, you can monitor the regions at this regional monitoring dashboard.
Importantly, businesses must make and implement plans to protect employees and customers as outlined below. Much more detail can be found in the New York Forward website and book.
Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. In developing these plans, businesses will need to consider three main factors.
The first factor is protections for employees and customers. These include possible adjustments to workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace; enacting social distancing protocols, and restricting non-essential travel for employees.
The second is changes to the physical workspace, including requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent close contact with others and implementing strict cleaning and sanitation standards.
The last factor for businesses to consider is implementing processes that meet our changing public health obligations, like screening individuals when they enter the workplace, or reporting confirmed positives to customers. While these processes will vary from business to business, almost everyone will have to adapt, in some way or another, to our new normal.
This article appeared first in Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development: https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/2020/05/12/new-york-forward-provides-a-guide-for-re-opening/