"I'm gonna issue an executive order that says all people in public must have a mouth and nose covering and they must wear it in a situation where you are not or cannot maintain social distancing," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, during Wednesday's coronavirus briefing, setting of a flurry of questions about practice, enforcement and consequences. "You're walking down the street alone, great. You're now at an intersection and there are people in the intersecton and you're going to be in proximity to other people, put the mask on," said the governor, in an attempt to further clarify exactly what is expected after Friday night at 8 p.m.
"I agree with that because not only is it to protect you it's to protect other people, because from what they say, some people don't show symptoms, so I don't know if I got it and could pass it to somebody else. So I think it was a good idea," said Teddy Davis, in downtown Utica Thursday afternoon.
The order doesn't mean New Yorkers statewide have to run out and buy masks.
"Any type of mask, whether it's cloth, we mention like a kerchief around your mouth, a scarf, any type of cloth that you have at home and you don't necessarily have to buy a mask," said Oneida County Public Health Director, Phyllis Ellis.
Regardless of the color of the face covering, there's a lot of grey area surrounding enforcement; the degree, and whether it will even exist.
"There's a possibility for a civil violation. You could get a penalty. You know. You jaywalk, theoretically, you get a penalty. Local governments would enforce it. i don't want to go to a penalty yet," said Cuomo.
"It's another one where we find out about it and become the bad guys overnight," said Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente, Jr. "I don't think we're gonna go out looking for people that aren't wearing masks....I don't want to get down the path of so much of a police state that people if they're in their cars not wearing masks."