Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order that established social distancing policies for workplaces and residents throughout New York state in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID 19. The order included a 10-point directive known as "New York State on PAUSE," which stands for "Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone." In addition, the order included a set of guidelines specific to the most vulnerable New York residents that are being called "Matilda's Law," named after Cuomo's elderly mother. The Matilda's Law directives are meant for individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying serious health issues.
The governor's 10-point NYS on PAUSE plan is as follows:
• Effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed;
• Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
• Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced;
• When in public individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others;
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• Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
• Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
• Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
• Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
• Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
• Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using isopropyl alcohol wipes.
"Matilda's Law" includes the following rules for vulnerable populations:
• Remain indoors;
• Can go outside for solitary exercise;
• Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms;
• Do not visit households with multiple people;
• Wear a mask when in the company of others;
• To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask;
• Always stay at least six feet away from individuals; and
• Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.
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