On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his daily press briefing amidst the coronavirus crisis currently devastating the state.
Karla Ann Cote | NurPhoto | Getty Images
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to issue an executive order requiring all people to wear a mask or face covering while in public as the state works to combat the worst coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., he said Wednesday.
“If you are going to be in a situation, in public, where you come into contact with other people in a situation that is not socially distanced you must have a mask or a cloth covering nose and mouth,” Cuomo said during a press conference in Albany.
Cuomo said the state is moving to a “new normal” as he outlined a gradual reopening of businesses, saying the crisis won’t be over until a vaccine is made available.
“Where we’re going, it’s not a reopening in that we’re going to reopen what was. We’re going to a different place,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany on Wednesday.
There are more than 600,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. with more than a third of those concentrated in New York, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. While the outbreak appears to be leveling off, Cuomo said there are roughly 2,000 new cases confirmed in the state every day. The economy won’t be able to make a full comeback until there’s a vaccine, which scientists have said will take up to a year and a half, he said.
Rules for wearing of face coverings in New York State stated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, April 15, 2020.
Source: New York State
“It’s over when people know I’m 100% safe and I don’t have to worry about this. When does that happen? When we have a vaccine,” he said. “Until you have a vaccine, until you have the medical treatment, what do you do? How are you building the bridge? Well, it’s going to be a phased reopening.”
Part of that phased reopening is requiring people to wear face masks, he said, adding that he’s giving people a three-day grace period before the new rule takes effect. Local governments would enforce the order, but fines won’t be issued at this time, he said. It would apply to people on public transit, including the subway, buses and even on the sidewalk. People will need to cover their nose and mouth while in public, he said.
“You’re right to go out for a walk in the park, go out for a walk because you need to get out of the house. The dog is getting on your nerves, fine. Don’t infect me. You don’t have a right to infect me,” he said.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.