Governor Cuomo’s latest directive concerning the COVID-19 pandemic directs New York State contractors to shut their “non-essential” construction projects and keep them closed until April 21, 2020. Empire State Development Issued the new directive on March 27, 2020, which amends the Governor’s prior Executive Order 202.6 allowing all construction projects to proceed.

Under the new directive, construction projects deemed “essential” and therefore exempt from the temporary shutdown include:

  • Public utilities;
  • Transportation (roads, bridges, transit facilities);
  • Infrastructure;
  • Hospital and Medical Facilities; and
  • Affordable Housing;
  • Homeless shelters.

However, the directive warns “[s]ites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.”

An exception is also provided for “emergency construction” in which “it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until [the project is] safe to shut the site.”

If you have any question about whether your construction project falls into one of these exceptions or would like to discuss the content of this client alert, please do not hesitate to reach out to Michael S. Popok, Managing Partner, (, or Mitchell G. Mandell, Senior Partner, (, to discuss the most appropriate continuity plan for your business during these unprecedented times.