More Stringent Mask Requirements Coming

Mike Groll of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo made wearing a mask in public even more stringent on Wednesday, April 15. Just this week he announced all food handlers had to wear protective face gear at all times. Starting this weekend, though, everyone that leaves the house must wear a mask if they cannot keep social distancing guidelines.

“If you’re going to be in public and you cannot maintain social distancing, then have a mask and put the mask on when you are not in socially distanced places,” he said. “You’re walking down the street, you’re walking down the street alone? Great. You’re now at an intersection and there are people in the intersection and you’re going to be in proximity to other people? Put the mask on.” Cuomo said enforcement will be left to local authorities for the moment.

“We’re still in the woods. The good news is we showed we can change the curve,” he stated. He cited a stabilized health care system, and touted the fact New York has conducted more COVID-19 tests than any other state and is working in coordination with 228 private labs to keep testing efforts organized.

While he noted the health care system has stabilized, Cuomo said there are still a number of hurdles along the path to reopening the state’s economy. The governor said the state is pledging whatever help it can provide to the federal government to expedite a vaccine for the virus.

The state’s Department of Health has developed its own antibody test, which the governor said will be rolled out this week. He forecasts up to 2000 tests will be conducted per day.

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