Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order that, starting Friday, April 17, New Yorkers will be required to wear a mask or facial covering when outside the home and proper social distancing can not be achieved.
“To continue our efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, I am issuing an Executive Order that will require that all individuals in New York wear a mask or face covering that covers both your mouth and nose when in public where social distancing is not possible,” stated Cuomo. “From the outset we have encouraged New Yorkers to leave the house on a limited basis to go for walks in the park or take the dog for a walk, while distancing . Now as an added layer of respect for one another we will require New Yorkers to wear a mask or face covering where appropriate distance is not possible Please do NOT buy N95 or surgical masks that are needed by frontline healthcare workers. Also remember that wearing a face covering does not mean you can ignore other precautions — we still direct all New Yorkers to stay at home for all but essential errands. For tips on how to properly wear and care for a mask or face covering, check out this article. Stay Home. Stop the Spread. Save Lives.”
Cuomo went on to say describe various scenarios where people must wear masks or facial coverings, including walking down a sidewalk, walking down the aisle of a store, or taking public transportation, where they know they will pass someone else along the way.
So, if you’re going to pass other people on a sidewalk, [and] you’re not going to able to maintain social distancing, you must wear a mask or cloth.
“So, if you’re going to get on public transit, you’re going to get on a bus, you’re going to get on a subway, you’re going to stand on a subway platform, you’re going to walk in a neighborhood that is busy, you’re going to be on a sidewalk, you’re going to pass other people on a sidewalk, you’re not going to able to maintain social distancing, you must wear a mask or cloth or an attractive bandana or a color-coordinated bandana cloth, but you have to wear it in those situations. We’ll give people three-day notice to allow compliance. Just on the off chance that somebody doesn’t have a cloth covering or a mask, and we’ll go from there.”
As for a timeline on reopening businesses and getting back to normal, he stressed that this was going to be a gradual curve, by continuing to flatten the curve.
“It’s going to be a phased reopening, right. And during the phased reopening, the priority is make sure you do no harm and keep your eye on the public health issue. That is what is key in all of this. So it’s going to be a calibration of reopening based on public health safety and that infection rate because what we have done, and the reducing of the infection rate, is a pure function of what New Yorkers have done and what people across the country have done. When you relax that social distancing, you could very well see an increase in the infection rate. So it’s all a calibration to the public health. But it’s going to be a gradual increasing of economic activity in calibration with the public health, public health standards. The single best tool to doing this gauging, right, is large-scale testing. Test, trace and isolate.”
Lead image: By Kate Trifo