Governor Cuomo has issued an Executive Order mandating that all employers provide essential workers with protective masks, either made of cloth or the more effective medical-type.
This must be done free of charge, and any employees interacting with the public must be provided with some form of protection.
Yesterday, another Executive Order was issued by Governor Cuomo, requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or face covering when out in public, in any situation where social distancing is impossible.
This obviously includes on buses and trains, as well as within the confines of essential businesses permitted to remain open, whether it’s a bank or a supermarket.
However, it also includes outdoor public spaces, such as an intersection or bus stop, where social distancing is not possible.
You may wear a “face mask…or cloth…or an attractive bandana…or a color-coordinated bandana…cloth,” Gov. Cuomo said in a video recorded statement during a press conference.
This second EO will become effective on Friday, April 17th. Civil penalties, such as monetary fines, will likely be imposed for those violating the order.
The amount of the fines has not yet been specified. For now, there are no fines.
This is a reversal of Governor Cuomo’s previous statement that a mask might lend a false sense of security, when Mayor de Blasio ordered all New Yorkers to wear a mask in New York City.
Health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker stated that there was “no clear evidence” that covering the face would be effective.
In an interview with CNN last Friday, Mayor de Blasio had this to say:
“Out of an abundance of caution, this is what I’m saying to all New Yorkers: Take a scarf, take a bandanna, just anything you have at home, just cover your face if you’re going to be in close contact with people who are not your own family under your own roof.”
Mayor de Blasio had already announced that grocery stores were permitted to require all patrons to mask up, and anyone not complying could be denied entry.