Towns and cities in New York who find it steadfast to start issuing summons for those not wearing a face mask in public will have the full support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, he said in his Monday press conference.
In a continuation of his tirade against “disrespectful” New Yorkers forgoing COVID-19 gear that protects not only their health but that of the people around them, Cuomo said he would not oppose localities backing up his PAUSE policy with fines.
“What we’ve done in this state has literally saved lives. We’ve reduced all the projected hospitalization rates, dramatically, by about 100,000 New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “Local governments have the ability to enforce and to penalize. That’s up to local governments. But do I think they should be enforcing it and should there be sanctions? Yes … This isn’t just, do me favor. This is a public health emergency.”
Cuomo said masks do not have to be enforced at all times in public, where if an individual is alone in an open space. But if a person is going to be near other people they should be made to have a face covering.
“You could literally kill someone because you didn’t want to wear a mask. How cruel and irresponsible,” Cuomo added.
As the pandemic picked up momentum throughout April, Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio much like the MTA did away with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations that mask is only needed for people who believe they may be sick.
Now any sort of cloth face covering is recommended for those venturing out of their homes during shelter in place orders; they do not need to be N95 masks.
Bandanas are even recommended over nothing at all.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.