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COVID-19


Last Updated 06.07.2020

 

CONTENT DIRECTORY

- RECENT SHARE

- DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS

- OTHER AGENCIES

- NEW YORK STATE PAUSE

- CARES ACT

- NCARB

- FROM AIA NATIONAL


RECENT SHARE


PHASE ONE COVID-19 Update: June 5th

Good evening Industry Partners, this evening the Mayor signed the attached Executive Order requiring face coverings to be worn by all workers and visitors on construction sites.  The Department will be enforcing this requirement.  As a reminder, for the first thirty days violations will carry no monetary penalty.

DOWNLOAD EXECUTIVE ORDER

Updates to the DOB/DOHMH guidance document reflecting this change and a FAQ document on the Phase I Reopening are forthcoming.

As always, feel free to reach out to Bella or myself with any questions.

Be safe, 

Patrick A. Wehle

 

PHASE ONE COVID-19 Update: June 5th

Good afternoon Industry Partners, New York City will be entering Phase I of the State's Reopening Plan on Monday.  Therefore beginning Monday work can continue on all permitted job sites, including those that were previously characterized as non-essential.  All permits will remain active throughout the State of Emergency, as long as the insurance is maintained.  Also on Monday Development Inspections will return for all permitted work.  And finally, if your site remains suspended and is required to submit Weekly Inspection Reports through our web portal, please continue to do so.

Attached is a Guidance Document reflecting what our inspectors will be looking for.  All sites will be inspected regularly for compliance with the Code and the Guidance Document.  Our goal is to work together to ensure public health protections are in place to help prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.  As such, for the first thirty days violations related to the Guidance Document will carry no monetary penalty.

Pasted below is a link to the press release:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/about/pr-restart-phase-1.page

Pasted below is a link to the the Department's Phase I Reopening Homepage:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/about/restart-phase-1.page

DOWNLOAD GUIDANCE DOCUMENT HERE

As always, feel free to reach out to Bella or myself with any questions.

Be safe, 

Patrick A. Wehle

Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Policy & Industry Relations

Department of Buildings - City of New York

(212) 393-2042 (p)  |  (646) 831-3910 (c)

pwehle@buildings.nyc.gov

 

  


DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS

SHARED ON 6/5/2020

Good afternoon Industry Partners, New York City will be entering Phase I of the State's Reopening Plan on Monday.  Therefore beginning Monday work can continue on all permitted job sites, including those that were previously characterized as non-essential.  All permits will remain active throughout the State of Emergency, as long as the insurance is maintained.  Also on Monday Development Inspections will return for all permitted work.  And finally, if your site remains suspended and is required to submit Weekly Inspection Reports through our web portal, please continue to do so.

Attached is a Guidance Document reflecting what our inspectors will be looking for.  All sites will be inspected regularly for compliance with the Code and the Guidance Document.  Our goal is to work together to ensure public health protections are in place to help prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.  As such, for the first thirty days violations related to the Guidance Document will carry no monetary penalty.

Pasted below is a link to the press release:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/about/pr-restart-phase-1.page

Pasted below is a link to the the Department's Phase I Reopening Homepage:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/about/restart-phase-1.page

DOWNLOAD GUIDANCE DOCUMENT HERE


SHARED ON 4/20/2020

2020 Energy Conservation Code

Please review the 2020 Energy Conservation Code posted on the DOB Website.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/codes/energy-conservation-code.page

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/codes/2020-energy-conservation-code.page


SHARED ON 4/3/2020

COVID-19 Response: Post Approval Amendments and Immediately Hazardous Violation Civil Penalty Payments

DOB Releases Real-Time Map of Essential & Emergency Construction Sites. To help implement the ban on non-essential construction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DOB's new map tool identifies essential or emergency construction sites which are allowed to continue working. DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE

 click HERE to access MAP



As always, feel free to reach out to Bella or myself with any questions.
 
Be safe,
 
Patrick A. Wehle
Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Policy & Industry Relations
Department of Buildings
City of New York
(212) 393-2042 (p)
(646) 831-3910 (c)
pwehle@buildings.nyc.gov

Izabella Vais
Industry Engagement Advisor - Strategic Policy & Industry Relations
Department of Buildings
City of New York
(212) 393-2118 (p)
ivais@buildings.nyc.gov


Other Recent DOB Service Notices + Bulletins

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OTHER AGENCIES

DEP: Water and Sewer Applications and Permits

To ensure the safety of our customers and professionals during the COVID-19 public health emergency, all customer service and records offices will be closed until further notice. We are no longer accepting walk-ins. Please file all non-emergency permits online or via email (instructions below). More info provided in notice DOWNLOAD NOTICE

 

FDNY - Bureau Of Fire Prevention - Plans Intake Unit

Attached are the temporary instructions for plan submission. Effective 3/31/20

Note: Fire Alarm Submissions are not accepted by email but can be dropped off on Thursdays between 8AM - 12PM at Windows 18 – 20

Fire Alarm Resubmissions can be dropped off on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30AM – 11:30AM at Windows 16

DOWNLOAD NOTICE

 

 


NEW YORK STATE PAUSE

UPDATE from New York State on PAUSE 4/16/2020:

NEW YORK STATE PAUSE extended to May 15th

Today, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the "New York State on PAUSE" Executive Order will be extended to May 15th. Click here to read the initial executive order and stay tuned for further updates.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced all NYS on Pause restrictions and closures will be extended until May 15th. This action is taken in consultation with other regional states. The states will re-evaluate after this additional closure period.

Governor Cuomo also directed all New Yorkers to wear masks or face coverings on public transportation systems and while taking private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles. Additionally, all operators of public systems, private carriers and for-hire vehicles must wear a mask or face covering at all times while working. These directives expand on the Executive Order announced by the Governor yesterday requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th, at 8 PM.

UPDATE from New York State on PAUSE Guidelines 4/9/2020: 

Empire State Development Corp.
has updated Section 9 - Construction,
of the ESDC interpretation of Essential Businesses
in accordance with
Governor's Order 202.6
.

Please see a copy of that update below along with a link
(
https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026 ) to the full document.

9. Construction
All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work).
Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:

  • the construction is for, or your business supports, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;
  • the construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;
  • the construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;
  • the construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;
  • the construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ at:  https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD_EssentialEmployerFAQ_033120.pdf;
  • the construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or
  • the construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.

At every site, it is required that the personnel working on the site maintain an appropriate social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exits.  Sites that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, as well as cleaning/disinfecting protocols must close. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.

Construction may continue solely with respect to those employees that must be present at the business location/construction site in support of essential business activities. No other employees/personnel shall be permitted to work in-person at the business location/construction site.  Any other business activities being completed that are not essential are still subject to the restrictions provided by Executive Order 202.

As noted above, local governments, including municipalities and school districts, are allowed to continue construction projects at this time as government entities are exempt from these essential business restrictions. However, to the greatest extent possible, local governments should postpone any non-essential projects and only proceed with essential projects when they can implement appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Essential projects should be considered those that have a nexus to health and safety of the building occupants or to support the broader essential services that are required to fulfill the critical operations of government or the emergency response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

UPDATE from New York State on PAUSE Guidelines 3/27/2020: 

Gov. Cuomo Halts All Non-Essential Construction


PAUSE Updates  were announced earlier today by Governor Cuomo stating all non-essential construction sites must suspend all activitiesThis change in directive is being made to address the concern from construction workers dealing with health risks on job sites.

The revised Guidance on the Executive Order states:

9. Construction

  • All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
  • Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.  
  • For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.


For more information about the Empire State Development Guidance on Executive Order 202.6, visit https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026

 

 


CARES ACT

SHARED ON 4/3/20

(PPP) Paycheck Protection Program - Application Period Opens April 3, 2020, and funding will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis

Please review this time-sensitive information on $350 billion of funding being made available by the federal Small Business Administration through its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  See below for further details.   

SMALL BUSINESS PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Fully Forgiven

Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

All Small Businesses Eligible

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

When to Apply

Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

How to Apply

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at www.sba.gov.

The Paycheck Protection Program is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. Lenders should also visit www.sba.gov or www.coronavirus.gov for more information.

SHARED ON 4/2/20

NYC Employee Retention Grant Program - will stop accepting new applications Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5 p.m.

DO NOT PANIC. The key features of this grant is being “replaced” by the SBA Payroll Protection Program (more information below). Interested businesses with fewer than 5 employees should apply ASAP as applications that are submitted will still be processed. Click here for more information.

SHARED ON 4/1/20

The CARES Act 

– The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act primarily provides financing assistance to small businesses and non-profits through SBA and other tax provisions. Regulations and procedures are still being developed, but the major programs and initiatives of the Act include:

  • Paycheck Protection Program – Provides traditional 7(a) Loans with payment forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year
  • Emergency Economic Injury Grants – Provides up to $10,000 of advance that does not need to be repaid to applicants of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship – Provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by employers whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of government order.
  • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes – Provides deferment to allow taxpayers to delay paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020.

 
NYC Business Continuity Loan – The application of the Loan program is officially opened for the public and can be accessed here. The zero-interest program loan provides up to $75,000 to businesses and non-profits with fewer than 100 employees that have experienced a greater than 25% decrease in revenue.
 
NYS Unemployment Filing – NYS’s Department of Labor is working tirelessly to handle incoming claims. If you have been unable to get through the phone and/or online system this week, please keep trying. Once filed, all benefits will be retroactive to the day you were out of work. For more information, please contact 1-888-4-NYSDOL (888-469-7365). Or visit http://labor.ny.gov.

 

 

 


NCARB

Many Test Centers Are Reopening

As of June 1, Prometric has been able to resume testing at locations where local and state mandates allow. You can view Prometric’s current site openings on their website. Prometric will update this list daily as government restrictions continue to evolve.

 

ARE Candidates Now Classified as Essential Testers

In April, Prometric interpreted the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines and designated ARE candidates as non-essential testers. NCARB has been advocating with Prometric to explain why ARE candidates should be designated as essential within the CISA guidelines. NCARB’s efforts proved successful just yesterday, and ARE candidates have now been acknowledged as essential testers in the Prometric test center network.

Prometric is in the process of updating their scheduler. Starting Tuesday, June 9, 2020, you will be able to schedule an appointment at any open test center offering “All Programs” or “Essential Only” services.

 

Appointment Cancellations

Unfortunately, currently scheduled exam appointments may still be subject to cancellation if your local test center is not able to reopen, if local mandates change, or if further social distancing measures need to be put in place.

Prometric is assessing the above requirements on a rolling basis with a two week “look ahead.” If Prometric determines the need to cancel an appointment, they will notify the candidate directly, hopefully with two weeks’ notice. If your appointment is canceled by Prometric, NCARB will update your exam eligibility and provide you a seat credit so you can reschedule the appointment for a later date. Please note, some exam appointments may be canceled on shorter notice due to situations such as inclement weather or unavailability of the test center for other reasons.

Recently, Prometric field staff have incorrectly stated that NCARB has directed the cancellation of exams. NCARB has not directed Prometric to cancel any appointments as it is our sincere hope that all candidates are able to test when scheduled. While NCARB has no control over Prometric’s exam cancellation decisions, NCARB has provided Prometric with additional guidance to better address the stress and inconvenience caused to candidates by Prometric’s cancellation procedures.

 

Cancellation Refunds

We recognize that COVID-19 disruption has led to some candidates having their exams canceled or rescheduled multiple times, due to ongoing test center closures or displacements. NCARB is implementing a temporary refund policy that allows candidates who have had the same division appointment displaced two or more times the ability to cancel the appointment outright, and receive a refund of the original seat credit fee.

If a candidate has already rescheduled the division displaced multiple times, the now current appointment will be canceled at their request and a refund issued.

If a candidate has yet to reschedule the division displaced multiple times, the seat credit applied to their account to facilitate rescheduling will be removed and a refund issued.

Candidates can request refunds by contacting NCARB customer service and identifying the ARE division they would like canceled. Upon verification of the refund request, candidates should expect the refund within seven days.

 

Social Distancing Measures in Test Centers

Where testing is taking place, Prometric has implemented safety practices throughout the testing process. Links to Prometric's most up-to-date social distancing policies are provided below. Some regions have specific policies in place based on local guidelines, so please make sure to review the policies for the region you will be testing in.

  • For Prometric’s standard global policies, please click here.
  • For Prometric’s North America specific social distancing policies, please click here.
  • For Prometric’s China specific social distancing policies, please click here.

Along with the local policies noted above, all candidates must bring and wear a face covering to the test center. The face covering does NOT need to be a medical mask. Cloth face coverings are acceptable.

To account for the likelihood that check-out and check-in procedures on breaks may take longer, NCARB has extended the length of the flexible break available during each administration to 25 minutes.

Thank you for your ongoing patience. We are sorry that you have been impacted by these events and we are doing all that we can to help provide you with the testing access and the support you need to be successful in your licensure journey. If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us


FOR ALL COVID-19 - RELATED NCARB UPDATES, PLEASE VISIT HERE

 

 


FROM AIA NATIONAL

AIA MEMBER RESOURCES

AIA National website COVID-19 Resources page has been completely reformatted to include a repository of resources for members, including free webinars, Architect's Guide to Business Continuity, a Disaster Assistance Handbook, a compendium on Good Samaritan laws around the country, small business guidance and loan resources, and a list of best practices and templates for communications and temporary policies in responce to the COVID-19. For their COVID-19 resources page, CLICK HERE

COVID-19 ARCHMAP 

The COVID-19 ArchMap provides information on health care facilities including alternative care facilities around the globe responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. AIA's task force developed the map in partnership with the Kansas University Institute of Health + Wellness Design, to help identify solutions to growing bed surge needs and to support the development of design best practices for alternative care sites that support pandemic response. Architects, designers, engineers and facility owners are asked to contribute current, in-progress or completed COVID-19 projects as well as collaborative initiatives addressing the pandemic to AIA's repository. Project information will appear on the COVID-19 ArchMap.

COVID-19 TASKFORCES

Over the past few weeks, three task forces have been organized. Two aim to connect architects to community needs and equip our members with the proper tools to provide expert assistance in this time of great need.  Another creates a forum to support business continuity as the crisis unfolds.

  • Task Force 1: charged to compile best practices related to how architects can help communities across America. A database of information, accessible through (ArchMap) is being created to feature success stories from each state. To include helpful examples of how architects can help in the following areas:
    • Creating additional bed capacity in existing facilities
    • Retrofitting buildings or other facilities identified to fulfill demand.
    • Designing for doctor and patient protocols, including separating providers from patients within deployable tents.
    • Designing queuing systems
    • Designing testing stations for walk-up/drive-up, hospital and retail locations in urban, suburban, and ex-urban areas.
    • Creating spaces that can help mitigate the spread of disease.
  • Task Force 2: charged to mobilize components to connect architects with community leaders for disaster preparedness and assistance. The following activities have been or are in the process of being completed:
    • An eight step document “COVID-19 Guidelines for Engagement” has been created and shared with all representatives from CACE, the Disaster Assistance Network, the State and Local Government Network, and component presidents.
    • A letter to leading government officials (the governor’s office, mayors, public health officials) has been crafted and shared within all networks.
    • A special COVID-19 Advisory has gone out to the AIA’s Disaster Assistance Network.
    • Knowledge Community leaders are being contacted. Each KC is being asked to prepare a list of potential action items within their area of expertise (an example…how do schools implement short term safety measures). This information will diversify the ArchMap tool being compiled by Task Force 1 and should help with the longer term reaction to the pandemic.
  • Task Force 3 is looking at short term and long term implications to practice and business continuity as a result of the pandemic.
    • An AIAU webinar offered on April 2, 2020 at 3pm provided valuable insight into what architects need to know surrounding the CARES Act which was signed into law and provides immediate economic tools to small business owners and individuals (Paycheck Protection Plan and other initiatives).
    • A webinar is offered on April 2, 2020 at 2pm and hosted by chief economist Kermit Baker. This seminar focused on the potential economic impact of this pandemic on the construction industry with more to come.
    • Members of the task force are looking long term at how the profession may be permanently changed and how practices may have to adapt to a new practice dynamic.

ADVOCACY UPDATE

On the advocacy front, the AIA has been very busy.

  • The AIA issued memos which influenced the first two federal bills in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Coronavirus Preparedness Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • A second memo and letter from Robert Ivy and President Frederick went to capital hill as we signed on to the CARES Act. The CARES Act provides a broad range of assistance to small businesses, including very favorable terms for SBA loans, deferred payroll tax opportunities, modifications to policies related to business losses, a qualified improvement property (QIP) cost write off, and temporary relief from troubled debt restructuring. The bill also allows employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis (can contribute up to $5,250 annually to an employee and this would be excluded from their income).
  • A bi-partisan House companion bill to the Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act has been released and we are monitoring it closely. This bill would permit treatment of student loan payments as elective deferrals for purposes of employer matching contributions.
  • A clearinghouse of information to assist with the design of safer schools has been activated and the AIA submissions are under review for inclusion.
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