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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

  • The person who tested positive (referred to as the index) must immediately leave your business if they are physically present, and follow instructions from the testing facility, their health care provider, or the Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) to isolate themselves from others. Read the isolation instructions online.
  • Determine who else may have had close contact to the positive person (closer than 6 feet apart for a total of 10 minutes or more) 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 number 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. Hold onto this information in case it is needed by DBCH or a Contact Tracer.
  • Refer to your New York State required Business Safety Plan Template or equivalent COVID company policy/plan, and your contact tracing list (names and contact information of people checked into your facility), and have it ready for potential Contact Tracing.

CONTACT

  • 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.
  • Provide building management with information on the areas within the building where the index has been for cleaning purposes.

CLEAN

  • In most cases, you do not need to close your facility.
    • If it has been more than seven days 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 ago, 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)

 

The following guidance is designed to help mitigate COVID-19 and minimize the risk of disease spread in your workplace. These steps can assist your business to remain operational.

  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19: Regardless of whether the employee has symptoms or not, 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 as long as they do not have symptoms and are fever-free for more than 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. A COVID positive person cannot "test out" of isolation. Isolation is mandatory. Employee may have to extend the 10 day isolation if they are still symptomatic.
  • An employee with close or proximate contact* to a person with COVID-19 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.
  • An employee with close or proximate contact* to a person with COVID-19 AND is NOT experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms AND is fever-free for more than 24 hours without medication: The employee may return to work upon completing at least 14 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms.
  • An employee with symptoms upon arrival at work or who 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.

* A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes, between 48 hours prior to the illness onset and the time the person was isolated.

A person wo tests positive or develops symptoms is infectious for 10 days. A person can become ill 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19, thus a 14 day quarantine is required to prevent the infection from spreading. While most exposed individuals experience symptoms or test positive 5-7 days after an exposure, some bcome infected earlier or later. These measures are designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, so your business can continue to operate safely.

Essential Employees: If 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, an employee who was exposed MAY return to work so long as the employee:

  • Does not have symptoms, and
  • Adheres to the following practices prior to and during their work shift (these steps should be monitored and documented by the employer and employee for the remainder of the quarantine/isolation period):
  1. Regular monitoring: The employee must monitor every 12 hours for a temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit 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.
  3. Social distance: The employee must continue social distancing practices, including maintaining at least six feet of physical 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 isolation: The employee must continue to isolate outside of their essential employment and self-monitor for temperature and symptoms when not at the workplace.
     
  • 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: