NY Forward

Starting on Wednesday, May 20th, Schenectady County and the entire Capital Region moved into Phase 1 of NY Forward, Governor Cuomo's plan to reopen New York.

Capital Region Forward

Social distancing measures remain in order by executive order. Phase 1 involves the return of some employees to certain businesses, but all New Yorkers are asked to do their part to continue social distancing in the fight against the pandemic.

Through Phase 1:

  • Stay home as much as possible;
  • Limit socialization to household members;
  • Large gatherings are still not alloweed: birthday parties, weddings, block parties, other celebrations;
  • Wear face coverings/masks in public;
  • Wash hands frequently; and
  • Limit shopping.

Additional guidance: 

NY Forward Website

Schenectady County Briefings, Daily Community Updates and Demographics


Schenectady County gives live video updates twice weekly, at 10am on Tuesdays and Thursday, to update the public on the most recent guidance. These events are streamed on Facebook live at https://www.facebook.com/SchenectadyCounty/.

Residents can submit questions by: 

Daily Community Updates

Schenectady County posts a daily community update on www.schenectadycounty.com/publichealthFacebook and Twitter.

To stay up-to-date on the latest information follow Schenectady County on Facebook and Twitter.

Demographics and Other COVID-19 Information

Visit www.schenectadycounty.com/covid19info for the most up-to-date maps and demographic information.

Schenectady County Public Health Website

Reopening Metrics and Regional Control Boards

Regions throughout the State must meet 7 specific metrics to begin reopening, and move forward through the phases. These metrics, and each region's status are illustrated on the Regional Monitoring Dashboard.

Screenshot of Regional Monitoring Dashboard - click on image to view the most current dashboard.

NY Forward Regional Monitoring Dashboard

Additional Metrics Information

Regional Control Boards

Each region has a regional control board made up of local leaders, who monitor regional metrics during the reopening process, including: hospitalization rate, death rate, number of new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, testing and contact tracing within its region during reopening and alert the State if the region's metrics no longer meet the reopening guidelines and adjust the reopening plan for the region accordingly.

Regional Control Board Members

Capital Region Forward

Phases of NY Forward

NY Forward is comprised of 4 phases.

Phase 1: 

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Hunting
  • Retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

Phase 2: 

  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Administrative Support
  • Real Estate/Rental & Leasing

Phase 3: 

  • Restaurants/Food Service

Phase 4: 

  • Arts/Entertainment/Recreation
  • Education

More specific information about industries within each phase is available at: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase (as available).

Statewide Guidelines:

Essential Business Guidance

Lake and Ocean Beach Activities - Guidelines for Employers and Employees

Businesses and NY Forward

To help determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, use the reopen lookup tool. 

NY Forward Business Reopen Lookup Tool

To reopen, busineses must read the interim guidance for their industry, and complete a business safety plan.

The interim guidance can be found by industry at: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase.

Additionally, businesses must complete the electronic affirmation that they have read the interim guidance and completed the business safety plan. 


Currently, Schenectady County is offering free cloth face coverings (masks) to Phase 1 businesses for their employees.

Masks can be requested by sending an email to manager@schenectadycounty.com or by calling (518) 388-4355.

NY Forward Loan Fund

New York on PAUSE

Governor Cuomo announced the New York State on PAUSE executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone.

New York State on PAUSE

If you are aware of any New York on PAUSE violations, you can submit a complaint at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause