Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: 11:45 am, December 2, 2020
What You Need to Know

Governor Cuomo has outlined a plan to reopen New York State. The plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system. New York will reopen on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses reopen. 

Learn more about New York's reopening plan and the agricultural industry:

NY Forward

In addition, please read the guidance that the agricultural industry needs to know. The Department is continuing to monitor developments related to COVID-19, and we will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.


  • Everyone should continue to practice social distancing and proper hand washing and sanitizing of their facilities. See the documents below for industry-specific guidance.


Additional information and resources on topics like pets, protocols for food manufacturers and retail food stores, obtaining a business waiver, and more are available below. In addition, please see our guidance document of general resources for the agriculture community.

Food Retail Businesses

New York State has not restricted food producing farms, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, retail food stores, food pantries, food banks, and food and beverage manufacturing facilities from being open. This includes grocery stores and retail food stores within malls. These operations are exempt under the mass gatherings guidance as essential food supply chain industries.

Horticulture and Landscaping Businesses

Horticulture and landscaping businesses, including greenhouse operations, nurseries, sod farms, and arborists, are now permitted to reopen statewide, in all regions. Please read the interim guidance for horticulture businesses

Animal Care

All equine operations are permitted to reopen as part of Phase 1 of New York's NY Forward plan in regions that are designated as allowed to open. These must follow the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines and Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Non-food Agriculture.

Read below for additional guidance for animal care.

Charitable Organizations
Nourish NY

Nourish NY is rerouting surplus agricultural products to populations who need them most through New York's network of food banks.

Drive-Through Events

If you are interested in hosting a charitable food drive-through event in response COVID-19, please read the guidance below.

COVID-19 Testing for Seasonal Agricultural Workers

We are pleased to announce that the Departments of Agriculture and Markets, Health, and Labor are partnering with local health departments, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Farm Bureau, and our community health partners - in Clinton, Genesee, Orleans, Ulster and Wayne counties - to offer free COVID-19 testing to agricultural workers. These counties were selected for this opportunity due to the number of out-of-state workers coming into them over the next several weeks.

Please read the documents below for an overview of the program, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.


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