ENFORCEMENT OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 EMERGENCY REGULATIONS
NYS EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT GUIDANCE (updated 4-28-20)
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH GUIDANCE (updated 3-19-20)
ENFORCEMENT OF GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS (updated 4-4-20)
LOCAL ENFORCEMENT OF FACILITY OPERATION VIOLATIONS AND OCCUPANCY VIOLATIONS (updated 6-18-20)
On March 27, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.11 which deems any facility operating in violation an Executive Order or occupancy limit violation to be a violation of the Uniform Code or other local building code in effect in the jurisdiction in which the facility or space is located. EO 202.11 authorizes any police officer to remove individuals from spaces and facilities where there is such an occupancy limit violation. Additionally, local code enforcement officials or fire marshals are authorized to issue appearance tickets, Notices of Violation, Orders to Remedy which shall require immediate compliance, and/or Do Not Occupy Orders to any owner, operator, or occupant of any such facility or space.
DECLARING LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY (updated 3-20-20)
NYCOM’s Guide to Local Government Emergency Management provides an overview of the process for declaring a local state of emergency and for issuing emergency orders such as regulating and closing places of assembly and prohibiting and controlling people on public streets and places.
Whether the chief executive officer should declare a local state of emergency during the COVID-19 crisis depends on whether there are circumstances in their community that warrant such a declaration and the issuing of emergency orders. Local officials should consult with their county health departments to determine what emergency actions they recommend taking.
Note, however, that on March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.5, which provides in relevant part:
Notwithstanding section 24 of the Executive Law, no locality or political subdivision shall issue any local emergency order or executive order with respect to response of COVID-19 without the approval of the State Department of Health.
Consequently, local officials should consult with the municipal attorney before declaring a local state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic or any emergency order. You can view EO 202.5 online at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2025-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency.
Finally, numerous local officials have inquired about the need to declare a local state of emergency in order for their community to be eligible for federal FEMA funding. Because Governor Cuomo has declared a statewide state of emergency, there is no need for local governments to declare their own local state of emergency. The State and federal government are still in the process of allocating funds to help address communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. NYCOM will be disseminating information for aid opportunities as that information becomes available.