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> COVID19 Moving Forward

moving forward badge2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Moving Forward Toward Reopening

As New York State shares guidelines around a safe and coordinated reopening of communities, the Tompkins County Health Department will update information, FAQs, and local resources here.

Recent Updates

  • Executive Order 202.33 (posted, 5/22/20) allows for limited, non-essential gatherings of 10 or less individuals. The public is urged to continue to stay vigilant, and if you choose to gather in a group of 10 or less, please do so safely and with caution.
  • The phased reopening of non-essential businesses began May 15 in Tompkins County and the Southern Tier region. TCHD 5/16 press release.
  • Business Re-opening Lookup Tool: Helps determine if your business is eligible to reopen, and gives the public health and safety standards your business must comply with.
  • County COVID-19 Live Stream Updates: 5/21/20, 5/15/20, 5/11/20. Click here for the recordings.
  • How to file a local complaint related to Phased Reopening guidelines.

NYS map showing economic development regions

NY Forward Guidance from New York State

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a framework for reopening communities and businesses region by region, called NY Forward. This site is updated by the Governor’s office with details on reopening guidelines for regions in New York State.
  • Tompkins County is in the Southern Tier Region of New York State.
  • Regional Monitoring Dashboard (NYS website)
  • Industry Reopening by Phase. Businesses in each region will re-open in 4 phases. Click here for the breakdown of industries in each phase (NYS website).

Phased Re-opening

Phased Re-opening refers to the NYS plan for re-opening non-essential businesses in phases, based on the ability of customers and workers to maintain social distancing.

  • Phase One includes construction, non-food agriculture, retail for curbside pick-up, manufacturing, and wholesale trade.
  • Phase Two includes professional services, retail, and others,
  • Phase Three includes restaurants and food services,
  • Phase Four includes arts & entertainment, recreation, and education.

There is a minimum of 14 days to move from one phase to the next, depending on the status of specific public health metrics that are tracked by NYS. Full details of what industries are in each phase can be found on the NYS Industries re-opening website here.

When can a business re-open?

Non-essential businesses may only re-open when the following conditions are met:

  • The business type or industry is permitted to open during the current Phase. Use the Business Reopening Lookup Tool to determine eligibility and health and safety requirements.
    • The tool uses your NAICS code. You can input your NAICS code if known, or use the tool to determine your business's code.
  • Summary Guidelines have been studied. Summary guidelines have been written for all industries, and include mandatory and recommended practices for Physical distancing, Protective equipment, Hygiene and cleaning, Communications, and Screening.
  • An affirmation of having read detailed guidelines has been submitted to NYS
    • Click here for one example of detailed guidelines requiring affirmation that you have read and understand your obligation to operate in accordance with the guidance.
  • All Summary Guidelines and Detailed Guidelines requiring affirmation are on the NY Forward, Industries Reopening by Phase website
  • Guidelines that apply Statewide are available here.

Request masks for a business or organization in Tompkins County

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Moving Forward Together

Keep Tompkins County Healthy & Safe
Consider the following when you go out to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Social Distancing icon

Even while more spaces and businesses begin to open, keeping 6 feet of distance between you and others continues to be an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. More info here.

Density icon

New York State is allowing limited, non-essential gatherings of 10 or less individuals. Guidance on distancing, face coverings, and hand hygiene still apply. It is important to consider how many people you may be around if you go out. More info here.

face covering icon
Face Coverings

Your mask protects others, their mask protects you. The wearing of masks when you can’t guarantee social distancing is a proven way to stop the spread of COVID-19. More info here.

Hand Hygiene icon
Hand Hygiene

Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and consistently cleaning frequently touched surfaces can help to stop the spread COVID-19. More info here.

Symptoms icon
Symptoms and Testing

Monitor Your Symptoms. If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or body aches, seek a test & stay home. More info here.
Get Tested: Register to be tested online at or call 607-319-5708.

Mental health icon
Mental Health

No one should feel like they’re alone. Local mental health services are available for anyone who is having a hard time coping with this community wide crisis. Find more information and local resources here.


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Safe, high quality childcare is recognized as a critical component to the re-opening process. The EOC is in communication with the Child Development Council, local daycare providers, and summer camp operators to answer questions, plan, and review NYS guidance to determine how and when daycare facilities can open.

The Child Development Council's COVID-19 Services and Resources page includes information on the following:

If you need childcare, call (607) 273-0259 or email

Request masks for a business or organization in Tompkins County

Posters for businesses and workplaces (Click image to open 11x17 PDF)
Welcome | Attention All Visitors | Keep Tompkins Healthy & Safe
Welcome Poster image Poster Attention All Visitors Poster Keep Tompkins Save and healthy

Additional Resources

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Live Stream COVID-19 Updates with county and EOC leadership

As we Move Forward, county leadership and EOC team members are live streaming COVID-19 updates, responding to questions of interest to local businesses and organizations, and to the community at large. Video recordings are below. Upcoming live stream "town hall" updates are announced on our home page and on social media.

May 21, 2020

May 15, 2020

May 11, 2020

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County Reconstitution Of Operations Plan ‐ 2020 

Tompkins County departments are completing Reconstitution of Operation Plans (ROOP), preparing for reopening safely for staff and clients. The County is making the ROOP framework publicly accessible for staff, clients, and other businesses and organizations for their planning purposes.

The framework was developed by the planning team of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in consultation with the Tompkins County Public Health Department.

General Directives

  • Permission to open offices
  • Protocol on required use of a face covering
Phase 1
  • Office doors are open to the public but offices not yet fully functioning
  • How “partially functioning” is defined in terms of serving cients, community, and government
  • Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces
  • Waiting and conference room capacity reduced by 50% and rearranged to accommodate social distancing at all times
Phase 2
  • Fully functioning offices within the guidelines of “new normal”
  • How “fully functioning in the new normal” is defined in terms of serving cients, community, and government, and in terms of staff working on-site and remotely.
  • Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces
  • Waiting and conference room capacity reduced by 0-25% and rearranged to accommodate social distancing at all times

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ROOP Framework Outline
Open and download the ROOP PDF here 

Staffing Considerations
  • Coordinating staff returns
  • In-office staff levels
Employee Engagement
  • Building employee trust
  • Building employee confidence
  • Communications needs
Facility Considerations
  • Employee workspace
  • Public congregation areas
  • Publicly accessible conference rooms
  • Office flow
  • Cleaning needs
  • Messaging
  • Public equipment
Office Operations
  • PPE stock and availability
  • Visitor registry
  • Health Screening
  • Common areas redesign
  • Teleconferencing
Field Operations
  • Vehicle cleaning and sanitizing
  • Field PPE
  • Field safety

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