COVID-19 designated ‘airborne infectious disease’ under state law

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ALBANY – The State Health Department has designated COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the state’s HERO Act. That requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in the event of an airborne infectious disease, helping to prevent workplace infections.

The state HERO Act mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the pandemic.

Under the law, all employers are required to adopt a workplace safety plan, and implement it for all airborne infectious diseases designated by the State Health Department.

“While we continue to increase our vaccination numbers, the fight against the Delta variant is not over, and we have to do everything we can to protect our workers,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “This designation will ensure protections are in plan to keep our workers safe and support our efforts to combat the virus and protect health and safety.”