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> COVID19 Environmental Health Services during COVID-19

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Environmental Health Services during COVID-19


Reopening and Mask Guidance, Effective 5/19/21

New York State and Tompkins County have adopted the CDC guidance stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most settings.  NYS has issued new guidance on this issue, summarized below.

Please review this guidance to determine how these new changes will be implemented at your work place. Businesses and facilities may still require masks for everyone in their establishments, consistent with the CDC guidance. Unvaccinated people should still wear masks in all indoor settings while around others.

EH will continue notify businesses if NYS issues other industry-specific guidance, and thanks the community for their patience and understanding during this phase of the reopening.


Overview of NYS Guidance

NYS Guidance states that businesses are authorized to require masks and six feet of social distancing for employees and/or patrons within their establishments OR adhere to CDC guidance.

  • Applies across most commercial settings, including but not limited to retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services, among other settings.
  • Exempt settings: Must continue to require 6 feet of social distancing and masks for all individuals, including employees and/or patrons.
    • Pre-K to 12 schools (except outdoors)
    • public transit
    • homeless shelters
    • correctional facilities
    • nursing homes
    • healthcare settings 
  • NYS strongly recommends masks and six feet of social distancing in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown. Any mask requirements that businesses choose to implement must adhere to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • NYS Guidance source: NYS CDC Guidance Summary.
  • CDC Guidance Source: Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

Download free signs from TCHD
Everyone please wear a mask sign -- image Not vaccinated yet? Please wear a mask sign -- image

Program Information & Operations Guidance
Business Occupancy & Capacity

Effective May 19, most business capacities—which were previously based upon percentage of maximum occupancy—will be based solely on 6 feet social distancing requirements. Businesses will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. This new distance-based maximum capacity will apply across commercial settings, including retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services, among other settings. It will also apply in houses of worship.

Other COVID restrictions in addition to these capacity limits may also apply.

EH homepage


EH Administration

Update 5/19/21:

The Tompkins County Health Department is not currently open to the public. Arrangements can be made for submitting permit applications and payments if the applicant is unable to do so remotely. Services continue to be provided in all program areas either remotely or in person in the field.


Fitness Centers & Gyms

Updated 5/19/21

  • May 19: Operate at a capacity consistent with social distancing of 6 feet
  • Social distancing is not required in a designated separate area for vaccinated individuals. The facility can allow vaccinated individuals to not wear masks.
  • New York State guidance for Gyms and Fitness Centers

Reopening New York: Implementing CDC Guidance.


Food & Beverage:

Updated 6/3/2021

Dining Areas

Curfews are no longer in effect for dining facilities.

Guidance Documents

Reopening New York: NYS Guidance for businesses regarding fully vaccinated people.Image of guidelines poster

IMPORTANT: If a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 works in your facility or was known to be present in your facility, promptly notify Environmental Health (607-274-6688 anytime) for instructions on how to proceed


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Gatherings and Celebrations 

Updated 5/19/2021

Health Department Notification for Large Events

If you plan to hold an event — such as a festival, parade, concert, or other celebration — within Tompkins County that exceeds current social gathering limits, you must read the appropriate guidance and submit an event notificaition form to the Health Department. Click here to open the notification form.

You may also be required to:

  • Submit a NYS Safety Plan and /or a floor plan for the event.
  • Submit a floor plan showing how the COVID requirements will be met.

Residential Gatherings
Indoors
  • Effective May 19: goes to 50 people limit for residential gatherings
  • Masks and social distancing is not required if parties are fully vaccinated.
Outdoors
  • Effective May 19: Limit removed for residential gatherings
Social Gatherings in Public Spaces
Indoors

All mask and social distancing requirements remain in effect for unvaccinated people

  • Effective May 19: 250 people limit
Outdoors

All mask and social distancing requirements remain in effect for unvaccinated people

  • Effective May 19: 500 people limit

Reopening New York: Implementing CDC Guidance.

Weddings and Catered Events

Capacity limits for weddings is determined by the space available to maintain social distancing for unvaccinated individuals. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to be socially distanced in assigned sections. See NYS/CDC Guidance for businesses regarding fully vaccinated people.

Additional guidance that needs to be followed may be found here: NY State Interim COVID19 Guidance for Food Services.


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Small to Medium Size Events, Arts & Entertainment Venues*
(under 1,500 person capacity indoors, 2,500 person capacity outdoors)

Current NYS Source for Guidance: Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Small and Medium Scale Performing Arts and Entertainment.

Large Events, Arts & Entertainment Venues*
(over 1,500 person capacity indoors, over 2,500 person capacity outdoors)

Current NYS Source for Guidance: Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Large Scale Performing Arts and Entertainment

County Fairs and Local Festivals

Updated 6/3/21

  • Applies to publicly and/or privately operated fairs or festivals
  • Includes community fairs and festivals, craft fairs, food and beverage festivals, harvest/agricultural festivals, community garage sales and swap meets, and community parades.
  • TCHD notification is required for events over the social gathering limit.
  • NYSDOH notification is also required for events with greater than 5000 attendees.
  • Guidance: Fairs and Festivals Advisory.

Reopening New York: Implementing CDC Guidance.

Family Entertainment Centers/ Places of Public Amusement

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Children's Camps

Updated 4/22/2021

We encourage you to please continue to submit your applications as in previous years if you think you might operate. Changes to permit applications for 2021 camps will be conveyed as we receive guidance. Please contact our office if you have questions; call 607-274-6688 or email.


Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS):

Updated 3/16/21

  • The Department is processing applications and issuing permits for all OWTS.
  • The Department will also continue to provide inspections for OWTS of any type constructed under existing permits, however, greater than average delays should be expected when scheduling inspections. 

Lastly, through the duration of the State of Emergency, in an effort to maximize social distancing, the Department is encouraging the submittal of applications through our online service (https://permits.tompkins-co.org/CitizenAccess/Default.aspx) or by mail (downloads found at https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/eh/owts/index).*


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