Statewide cover-up: Governor issues executive order for face coverings

"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.

Posted: Apr 16, 2020 5:59 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2020 6:09 PM

"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."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1670716

Reported Deaths: 48049
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2149058858
Kings2143669200
Suffolk1645393105
Nassau1505382935
Bronx1465595920
Westchester1090382116
New York1054913954
Erie660591610
Richmond578951590
Monroe52990993
Rockland39149895
Orange37631730
Onondaga32606634
Dutchess22678410
Albany21030333
Oneida19829480
Niagara15404312
Broome15169336
Saratoga12095145
Schenectady10946178
Ulster10206229
Rensselaer9124132
Putnam846086
Chautauqua7379123
Chemung6454130
Oswego606089
Ontario585889
St. Lawrence562289
Steuben5545138
Cayuga540689
Jefferson485263
Sullivan482260
Herkimer4578107
Wayne451065
Cattaraugus445876
Genesee4450118
Madison386985
Clinton370426
Livingston357656
Tompkins348942
Columbia342596
Fulton338984
Montgomery3219107
Cortland319260
Allegany291381
Warren287255
Wyoming285349
Tioga282656
Greene268271
Orleans246381
Chenango246170
Otsego240243
Washington236652
Franklin212012
Lewis208030
Seneca163253
Delaware154333
Essex135626
Schoharie122913
Yates101726
Schuyler87012
Hamilton2852
Unassigned182118
Out of NY0193
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