April 15, 2020 – Today, Governor Cuomo announced that he will be issuing a new Executive Order, requiring all individuals, when in public and when it is not possible to practice social distancing, to wear masks. These masks can be of medical grade and/or made from home (cloth/bandana) but must cover the mouth and nose. There will be 3 days to comply with this new order. As of now, there are no penalties in place for non-compliance, although the Governor did indicate that civil fines would be possible if non-compliance became abundant. Local governments across the state will be charged with enforcing this new order. This comes on the heels of a previous executive order that required all essential businesses to provide masks and other protective gear for their employees when interacting with the public. For additional information, please contact DHC’s New York State Government Relations Chair Steve Malito.
The Governor again spoke about a reopening of the State, and, while no date for doing so was given, he did provide insight to the initial criteria they are using. The Governor stated that two questions are most important when discussing when and what to reopen. These questions are:
- How “essential” is the service/product that the business is offering?; and
- What effect does opening said “essential” business have on public health and infection/spread rate?
The state will be weighing those questions as they continue to work toward a plan of reopening. Therefore, businesses should be prepared for additional steps such as formal “social distancing” measures to be put into effect as part of any reopening plan.