New York Capital Brief:

NY HERO Act Signed into Law

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act), first-in-the-nation legislation that mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections to safeguard against the spread of airborne infectious disease in workplaces.

The new law authorizes the State Dept. of Health and Dept. of Labor to design minimum standards for workplace health and safety during all infectious disease outbreaks. Businesses will have to provide personal protective equipment for all employees, set up safe social distancing and disinfecting protocols, and ensure adequate airflow.

For more information, click here.


Legislature Passes ‘Safe Staffing’ Package

Two bills aimed at creating “safer staffing” standards in hospitals and nursing homes passed the legislature this week.

The first bill establishes a mandate that calls for hospitals to create clinical staffing committees to establish staffing plans and the second sets a standard of 3.5 hours of care per patient, per day at nursing homes. Both bills received bipartisan support.

“Nurses have always been healthcare heroes, at our loved ones bedsides. And for the last year, they have also served on the frontline of a global pandemic,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “These bills will ensure that our nurses, whether in hospitals or nursing homes, are working under conditions that allow them to best help their patients and save lives.”


Effective May 10th:

  • Outdoor social gathering limit will increase to 500

Effective May 19th: 

  • Business capacity limits will be replaced by the amount of space in which individuals are available to maintain six feet of social distancing
  • Indoor social gathering limit will increase to 250
  • Indoor residential gathering limit is increased to 50
  • Outdoor residential gathering limit is removed