This page is designed to help employers and our workforce in Oswego County respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Updated: March 24, 2020 at 4:27 pm
We need to take steps to keep jobs and businesses going, as well as protect health in the community. Information is changing often, and updates will be made here daily. We ask readers to rely on official sources first and foremost, some of which is posted here, in addition to OOC’s recommended steps.
Our national, state and local public health agencies are confident that the best strategy to protect our population from further spread of the virus is Social Distancing. The essence of Social Distancing is that we avoid large gatherings and maintain a physical distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible. Governor Cuomo has also mandated that all New York State businesses (exempting shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions - see link for full list below) reduce their employees in the physical workplace by 100% and to have other employees work from home where feasible until otherwise stated.
Oswego County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program
SBA Small Business Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Loan Information
- SBA Small Business Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application
- U.S. SBA Disaster Loan Fact Sheet and NY Declaration 16346
- Empire State Development Presentation on SBA Disaster Loans
- SBA Disaster Loan FAQ
NYS Department of Labor Resources
- Information for Employees Affected by Business Layoffs
- What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act as it Relates to UI
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Fact Sheet
- Rapid Response Fact Sheet for Employees
- Rapid Response Fact Sheet for Businesses
Business Guidance and Assistance from Empire State Development
- Guidance for Determining Whether a Business Enterprise is Subject to a Workforce Reduction
- Guidance for New York State Businesses Related to COVID-19
- Inquiries for Business Assistance from NYS
Testing and Health Updates
- Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 Testing and Hotline Information
- New York State Department of Health Updates
- CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Links for businesses who could provide or manufacture Personal Protective Equipment:
- Call the County of Oswego at (315) 349-3260, or
- Contact Empire State Development at COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov, or
- Contact Operation Oswego County at either (315) 343-1545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
17 Steps to Help Your Organization Deal with Coronavirus
- Employers should establish firm requirements that any sick employees not enter the workplace in order to protect their fellow employees and other members of the public.
- Emphasize appropriate respiratory etiquette (contain coughs and sneezes) and emphasize frequent hand washing by all employees.
- Establish policies and practices to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and members of the public — social distancing — to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Greet without shaking hands for the near future.
- Perform frequent environmental cleaning of the workplace, especially surfaces that are frequently touched in common areas.
- Install alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations.
- Cross train staff on essential functions to ensure business continuity while any key employees may be unavailable.
- Make available video conferencing software and phone bridges for virtual meetings rather than relying on in-person group meetings.
- Prepare your IT systems to support telecommuting, which typically creates a more resilient business if there is ever an earthquake.
- Install appropriate apps on employees’ phones or mobile computing devices in order to access work and related apps and data remotely.
- Consider moving your phone system and voicemail to the cloud; it is easier to retrieve messages from home and setup call forwarding.
- Consider changing workflow to sharing documents in the cloud, so collaboration is still possible with many remote employees. Ensure you have good security protocols in place for sensitive documents or work streams.
- Move email to the cloud, rather than hosting it on servers at the office. This is more related to other types of disasters that might disrupt IT systems, but is a best practice in our region.
- Encourage employees to move payroll to direct deposit.
- Diversify supply chains to become less dependent on individual suppliers from territories that may be at greater risk of impacts from COVID-19, if your operation depends on such supply chains.
- Plan now for lines of credit / capital, in case working capital and cash flows become impacted by a reduction in consumer demand or a delay in ability to fulfill product or service orders. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is in the process of making SBA disaster loans available to businesses.
- If you anticipate having challenges with payroll, or if your organization is considering layoffs, please contact OOC immediately and our team will try to assist to avoid the need for layoffs. Email OOC at email@example.com.
County of Oswego IDA Support for Existing Clients
Please contact Kevin LaMontagne at (315)343-1545 X105 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.