Gov. Cuomo: Local governments can, should enforce social distancing orders

Social distancing could become more of a problem as the weather warms up, meaning more people outside and some not wearing masks. It has begged the question of what is being done to enforce the state mandate?

News 12 Staff

May 4, 2020, 9:02 PM

Updated 1,541 days ago

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Social distancing could become more of a problem as the weather warms up, meaning more people outside and some not wearing masks. It has begged the question of what is being done to enforce the state mandate?
Scenes of crowded places like Jones Beach and the West Village in Manhattan were posted on social media all weekend as people got outdoors to enjoy the warm temperatures.
In the wake of the crowds, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued another reminder about his executive order to wear a face covering when you cannot stay 6 feet apart from others in public.
"You could literally kill someone because you didn't want to wear a mask, I mean how cruel and irresponsible would that be?" says Cuomo.
Cuomo says local governments have the ability to enforce and penalize people who aren't following the order, and thinks they should be because it is a public health emergency.
During Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's Monday news briefing, he said county residents largely complied with social distancing guidelines.
As News 12 reported, a protest broke out in Commack Friday, where dozens could be seen not wearing masks and not keeping at least 6 feet apart. Police did not break up the protest.
"When there are gatherings like that, when people may be gathering and expressing their First Amendment right, we want to again, educate," says Bellone.
Suffolk Police Chief Stu Cameron says his department did not issue summonses over the weekend, and that a vast majority of people were in compliance.
"People have to remember that very often they'll see people in groups out in public, but very often they're family groups that live together and travel together and it's OK that they're out in public," says Cameron.
Cameron adds that they're working on strategies for any potential future demonstrations where they will offer face coverings.
In Nassau, police also commended its residents' compliance over the weekend.
On Sunday, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said over the last two months there have been 1,700 complaints of noncompliance violations, and only 22 summons issued.
 


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