Latest News on the Covid-19 Restrictions
Good News and More Questions - Monday the Governor announced that certain Low Risk Businesses could resume as long as they took proper precautions to ensure Health and Safety of Employees and Customers.
Certain low-risk business and recreational activities will be ready to reopen statewide on May 15th, including LANDSCAPING & GARDENING BUSINESSES; and recreational activities such as tennis and drive-in movie theaters.
--------------------- see Documentation HERE: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
We have been told by agencies in both Albany and here on Long Island that Further Guidance is coming. We ask you to be patient.
News from New York State
"NYS on PAUSE" was been Extended to MAY 15. Therefore:
Dear LINLA Members and Industry Professionals,
We are living in unprecedented times. One that our generation and our leaders have never encountered. It is stressful for all of us, but we need to remember that Health and Safety is the MOST important thing! As we and our officials struggle to find the path through this challenge we all have to work together for the greater good.
As the current president of LINLA, I have been working with the Board of Directors on our primary goal; advocating for our members and keeping you up to date during the Covid-19 crisis. We have been working tirelessly to provide accurate information and documentation from NYDAM, ESD, DEC, Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Everything we can verify as accurate is posted to LINLA.org, sent via email and posted to Facebook.
At the time I write this our industry is largely closed down. These are the three areas where work is permitted:
- Nurseries / Greenhouses selling food-producing plants.
- Landscaping for maintenance and pest control purposes only.
- Pesticide applications as defined by the DEC.
For those of you that belong to these three groups and choose to continue to provide services, please consider implementing policies and procedures that put safety first.
LINLA is providing suggested Safety Best Management Practices that might help keep you, your staff and your clients stay safe. This is a compilation of BMPs from *reputable sources around the industry. As every company is different, some will not apply to your business. Take what applies and what you can use to make your own plan. Then consult with your Human Resource professional and Legal guide to see if it is appropriate for you to implement them.
It would be irresponsible to think we can proceed with “business as usual”. As the situation worsens daily, we find ourselves in uncharted territory. As a professional industry, we should lead by example.
During this time the LINLA Board of volunteers will continue working with our officials, both locally and in Albany to come up with strategies that protect the public and keep everyone as safe as possible. This includes providing resources to help you meet safety protocols, working to assist you during this crisis and the reconstruction of our industry after the crisis is over.
There will be sacrifices, there will be financial hardship, but you will survive and the industry will survive.
Documentation - Suffolk County's Definition of Lawn Maintenance - 4/3/20
|CLICK Image for English Version||HAGA CLIC en la imagen para la versión en español|
Official Documentation 4/2/20 - regarding Lawn Maintenance
At this time, horticulture is designated as a non-essential business (with the exception of nurseries/greenhouses selling food producing plants).
*Please note that landscaping for maintenance and pest control purposes has been designated as essential.*
Here is the page where you can find this documentation:
Official Documentation 4/2/20 - regarding Pesticide Applicators
MPORTANT UPDATE ON ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES - Regarding Licensed Pesticide Applicators
Pesticide applications are deemed an Essential Service under Executive Order 202.6. Please refer to this Page on NY DEC website for details.
Please read the entire Document HERE:
Official Documentation 4/1/20 - regarding Horticulture and Landscaping
Official Statement 3/31/20 2pm
We have Official Confirmation from NYS Department of Ag & Markets that the previous Guidance document distributed on March 24th has been RESCINDED.
As of March 31 at 1:23 pm, the Governor’s office and the office of Empire State Development, have not updated the Official Guidance of Executive Order 202.6. So we must adhere to that document as it stands at this time. Find that page HERE.
If in looking to that document you are un-clear what that means for your business, PLEASE request designation as an essential business, please click here. https://esd.ny.gov/content/request-designation-essential-business-purposes-executive-order-2026
While we realize that this latest information creates more uncertainty than answers, this is all the information that we KNOW and can VERIFY as ACCURATE. Please do not ask us to speculate or advise you on this issue.
The volunteers of the LINLA Board of Directors is working very hard to get answers and will post any new information to our Facebook page, LINLA.org and via Email.
Official LINLA Postion 3/24/20 11am - WARNING: THIS WAS RECINDED 3/31/20
The industry has received this Interim Guidance for Horticulture from NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the horticultural industry is included under "agriculture/farms" as an essential business.
This is very good news for our industry, but we would like to caution all of you not to abuse this. Please stick to the services listed.
And ABOVE ALL institute and enforce the safety Guidelines in the document.
LINLA will be releasing a more comprehensive Safety Best Management Practices specific to our segments of the industry. Stay Tuned!
For horticultural operations, the Department defines the following businesses/activities as essential:
1. Production, movement, maintenance, and sale of vegetable plants, nursery stock, trees, plants, and flowers at greenhouse and nursery operations.
2. Tree and shrub trimming and removal for disease, safety, and public health purposes.
3. The placement and ground maintenance of sod, landscaping plants, flowers, ornamentals, and trees on residential and commercial grounds.
4. Transportation necessary to meet any of the above functions.
5. Agribusiness, including the sale and application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and minerals, that support any of the above functions.
READ and PRINT the Guidance here: https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/guidanceforthehorticultureindustry.pdf
Official LINLA Postion 3/22/20 8pm
As we clock tickets down on the Governor’s Sunday, 8:00 pm directive, we still have uncertainty surrounding the status of various segments of our industry. All the phone calls, letters and emails we made to NYS in an effort to gain Exemption for our industry did not bring concrete answers.
And then Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone states in a press conference that Landscaping is OK. He is our hero right?
But what does he mean by “Landscaping”, maintenance, construction, tree work, plant healthcare. It is unclear.
And more importantly, does he have the authority to over rule the Governor’s directive? That is also unclear.
So LINLA’s official position to its members is that we should all wait to get a response from the Governor’s office. Monday’s weather forecast is for 100% chance of rain. That give us time to get a 100% correct answer to our questions.
We know that this has been a crazy week. Please, be well and be safe and we will get through this together.
Today at Noon we sent this letter to Governor Cuomo making our case for Exempt Services status for various segments of our industry. No doubt there are many other industries making the same request. This will likely take time to resolve into a clear determination, and New Guidance documents will be posted to the Empire State Development site when changes are made.