As it did just about one month ago, the state of New York has again reaffirmed the designation of the COVID-19 virus as a “highly contagious communicable disease” and thereby extended the application of the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act). Public Health Commissioner Howard Zucker first declared the coronavirus a “highly contagious communicable disease” on September 6, 2021, then extended it on September 30, and now extended it a third time on October 31. Consequently, the provisions of the HERO Act, meaning that New York employers must continue to keep their airborne infectious disease prevention plans in effect at least through December 15, 2021. At that time, Zucker will again face the option of allowing the designation to expire or continuing it to sometime in the new year. The smart money is that the extension will continue until COVID is completely and unequivocally in the rear-view mirror, but we will keep you advised of future developments.