When New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on the Labor Day holiday that the state Commissioner of Health had issued a designation of the COVID-19 virus as a “highly contagious communicable disease”, the announcement triggered the state HEROES Act and along with it, a host of additional obligations on the state’s employers. The HEROES Act, signed into law by former Governor Cuomo back in early May, required employers to adopt an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan (IDEPP) by August 5, 2021. With the Commissioner’s designation, adoption of the plan is no longer sufficient and the plan must now be activated. That means the plan must be given in writing to all employees; employers much conduct a “verbal review” of the IDEPP with employees and get written acknowledgement from the employees that they received the plan and participated in the verbal review! It should also be posted in each “worksite” and added to the company employee handbook, if one exists; and management must ensure that new employees are given a copy of the IDEPP.  Interestingly, the designation by the health Commissioner is only in effect until September 30, 2021 (a total of 24 days) and employers have a 30-day period to “cure” any alleged violation of the IDEPP. Come September 30, the Commissioner will determine if COVID infection rates warrant an extension of the designation or if it will be allowed to expire. Makes one wonder if the designation was made solely for the enjoyment of organized labor celebrating Labor Day?