As the coronavirus pandemic has spread and its implications become more dire, governments and organizations across the country have issued -- and amended -- restrictions on all but 'essential' businesses in order to slow the rate of infection and transmission. The Empire State Development Corporation has issued some updated guidance in an effort to clarify which businesses or services qualify as “essential.” Not all categories considered essential are relevant to co-op and condo communities, but if your building or association has one as a commercial tenant -- a medical practice, for instance, or a therapist's office -- your board-management team should be aware that those businesses are not mandated to close at this time (indeed, they're more important now than ever), and should work with those business owners and their staff to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding social distancing, sanitizing surfaces, and just generally looking out for each other.
According to attorney Carol M. Goodman, a partner with law firm Herrick Feinstein LLP's New York office, the Development Corp.'s list of 'essential' businesses, services, and employees in the multifamily context include the following:
Essential health care operations, including:
Doctor's and emergency dental offices
Walk-in-care health clinics and facilities