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Resources for Businesses and Employees

Dutchess County’s Economic Rapid Response Team has worked to establish resources for businesses and employees adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Businesses
Find updates on recent closures, essential business guidance from the State, and guidance on how to increase your business’ resilience and protect the public and your employees.

For Employees
Find resources on unemployment insurance and job openings at essential businesses.

 

 

Recent Updates

 

The State issued an Executive Order directing employers to provide essential workers with masks, free of charge, to wear. Download a Using a Cloth Face Covering as a Mask Flyer (.pdf)

NOTE: Governor Cuomo has issued executive orders requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public including when taking public or private transportation carriers or other for-hire vehicles.

 

Small business owners are being targeted by scammers as they apply for Small Business Administration loans and grants. Report any suspected fraud online or call the OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385. Tips from the SBA to protect your business' private information.

Local Essential Job Opportunities

The Dutchess One Stop Career Center has compiled a list of local essential employers that are now hiring. Visit their website and download the list to review openings and apply.

How and when can I file for Unemployment Insurance?

Residents seeking to file an unemployment insurance claim can visit labor.ny.gov or call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124Frequently asked questions about Unemployment Insurance from the DOL.* 

If you are self-employed, you may file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online; view the State's Self-Employed Unemployment Insurance Guide.

The State's Telephone Claim Center filing system is now based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name (alphabetical order):

  • A – F: Monday
  • G – N: Tuesday
  • O – Z: Wednesday
  • Missed your day: Thursday through Saturday

Telephone Claim Center Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday, 8am-7:30pm
  • Friday, 8am-6pm
  • Saturday, 7:30am-8pm

*Due to ongoing high call volume, please be prepared for potentially long wait times. The Telephone Claim Center now offers a call-back feature. If you have been instructed to call to complete your application, you no longer need to call. A representative from the DOL will call you back within 72 hours.

Helpful Links

State Re-Opening Updates

Dutchess County has been included in the State's Mid-Hudson Region along with Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. View or download the State's map of the 10 regions and a list of counties within each region. Read the State's regional guidlines for re-opening.

View our Restarting Dutchess webpage for more info on re-opening guidelines and permissible activities.

State Updates

  • Effective November 13 at 10 p.m., bars, restaurants and gyms, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, must close in-person service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.  Read the State's announcement.
  • Effective November 13 at 10 p.m., indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people. Read the State's announcement.
  • New travel guidelines are in effect that allow out-of-state travelers to “test out” of the State's mandatory 14-day quarantine.

 

Dutchess Business Notification Network (DBNN)

For COVID-19 updates for businesses and non-profits, join the Dutchess Business Notification Network (DBNN):

Guidance

If you or someone in your business has tested positive for COVID-19 (a positive case is referred to as the Index), follow these steps immediately:

CONTAIN

  • Determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus and may need to take additional precautions (all individuals who entered the facility dating back 48 hours before the Index first experienced COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive, whichever is earlier.

COLLECT

  • Collect the name, address, date of birth and phone of the Index, and if known or you can obtain, the date the Index first experienced symptoms, date of COVID test, name and address of testing facility, type of test and date test result was received.

CALL

  • • Call the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) COVID-19 Hotline (845) 486-3555. Press 5 and then 1. If an operator is not available, you will be asked to leave a message with the information collected above.
  • Have your NYS required Business Safety Plan Template or equivalent COVID company policy or plan, and your contact tracing list (names and contact information of people checked into your facility) ready for DBCH personnel inspection and contact tracing.
  • Inform employees, customers and visitors of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain the confidentiality of the Index as required by law, and follow CDC Guidance for Exposure.
  •  Instruct potentially exposed employees to stay home for 14 days, telework if possible, and self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Notify the building management with information on where the Index has been throughout the building.

CLEAN

  • In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility. If it has been seven days or more since the Index has been in the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility. If the Index was in your facility less than seven days, follow the CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting.

Download: WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR SOMEONE IN YOUR BUSINESS TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 / WHEN CAN YOU OR YOUR EMPLOYEES RETURN TO WORK (.pdf)

Employers and employees should take the following actions related to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure:

  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether the employee is symptomatic or asymptomatic, the employee may return to work upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms or 10 days of isolation after the first positive test if they remain asymptomatic. Employee may have to extend the ten-day isolation if they are still symptomatic.
  • If an employee has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee may return to work upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms.
     
    • The New York State Department of Health considers a close contact to be someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the person was isolated. The local health department should be contacted if the extent of contact between an individual and a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 is unclear.
       
  • If an employee has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is not experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee may return to work upon completing 14 days of self-quarantine.
     
    • However, if such an employee is deemed essential and critical for the operation or safety of the workplace, upon a documented determination by their supervisor and a human resources (HR) representative in consultation with appropriate state and local health authorities, the exposed, asymptomatic employee may return to work so long as the employee adheres to the following practices prior to and during their work shift, which should be monitored and documented by the employer and employee:
    1. Regular monitoring: The employee must self-monitor for a temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit every 12 hours and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
    2. Wear a mask: The employee must wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure.
    3. Social distance: The employee must continue social distancing practices, including maintaining, at least, six feet of distance from others.
    4. Clean and disinfect workspaces: The employer must continue to regularly clean and disinfect all areas, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment.
    5. Maintain quarantine: The employee must continue to self-quarantine and self- monitor for temperature and symptoms when not at the workplace for 14 days after last exposure.
       
  • If an employee is symptomatic upon arrival at work or becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms while at the workplace, absent close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19, the employee must be separated and sent home immediately and may return to work upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms OR upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Download: WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR SOMEONE IN YOUR BUSINESS TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 / WHEN CAN YOU OR YOUR EMPLOYEES RETURN TO WORK (.pdf)

  • Employees who are ill should stay home until they are fever-free and symptom-free without the use of fever-reducing medications or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants) for at least 24 hours. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
  • Employees who are sick upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. 
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
  • Utilize and display posters, videos, and social media resources found on our Resources page to encourage staff to follow these recommendations

Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members, dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools due to high levels of absenteeism or illness:

  • Employers should plan to monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace. Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher than usual absenteeism.
  • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff members are absent.
  • Assess your essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on your services or products. Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).

Contact tracing is the process of working with an individual who has had an infectious disease such as COVID-19 and identifying people that person has potentially been in contact with. Those people are then contacted and notified of possible exposure so they can take proper precautions and not further spread the virus.  For more information visit our Contact Tracing page.

Increase Your Business’ Resilience and Readiness

Download a flyer with Best Practices for Businesses During COVID-19 (.pdf)

Additionally, to increase your business’ resilience and readiness during the COVID-19 outbreak, DBCH recommends businesses strongly encourage employees to:

  1. Stay home when sick (Poster, .pdf)
  2. Cover your cough (Poster, .pdf)
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available. (Website/Social Media graphics for use to promote employee handwashing.)
  4. Clean frequently touched surfaces. NYS Department of Health has guidance about how facilities should be cleaned. AND  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of EPA-registered antimicrobial products 
  5. Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others whenever possible. Avoid social gatherings and unnecessary appointments.
  6. Wear a cloth face mask. A simple cloth face covering should be worn by everyone outside of their home when ample social distancing proves difficult. Businesses are required to provide face coverings to essential workers. Be sure to wash cloth masks frequently; the CDC advises a washing machine is sufficient.

Refer employees to the www.DutchessNY.gov/Coronavirus website for current information and status about COVID-19.  

To assist with your business’ continuity of operations, review policies related to the following situations in our Guidance section: