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Gov. Cuomo mandates face masks when out in public

NEW YORK STATE — Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order on Wednesday, April 15, that as of Friday, April 17, at 8 p.m., all New Yorkers must wear face masks when in public, when social distancing is impossible. 

Here is what Cuomo stated in a coronavirus update on the 17th:

“If you are in a public space where social distancing is not possible, you MUST cover your mouth and nose. This week I issued an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation.”

The governor said during a press conference last week that his order should not be considered onerous during a pandemic, when lives are at stake.

“We’re asking New Yorkers to wear a mask at this time,” he said. “I think that is more than reasonable. I am sure there are people who disagree.”

Scarves or bandannas are also OK, so long as New Yorkers cover their nose and mouth when in crowded public places to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

A previous executive order was issued by the governor on April 12, requiring essential workers in the state to wear face masks. 

North East town Supervisor Chris Kennan reminded local residents last week that wearing a face covering “is especially important when we are in places like grocery stores or convenience stores, pharmacies, the post office, etc.”

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye, who’s in charge of the Metro-North Railroad that transports many Harlem Valley workers to New York City and its environs, commented on Cuomo’s order after it was announced last week.

“All customers will be required to wear a face covering while traveling with us during this pandemic,” he said. “We all need to change our behavior to protect each other. Wearing masks and other face coverings in public will help stop the spread and ultimately save lives.”

Connecticut’s governor enacted similar measures, which took effect on Monday, April 20.

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