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Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an Executive Order authorizing businesses to deny entry to individuals who do not wear masks or face-coverings. The Executive Order builds on the state’s ongoing efforts to protect New Yorkers and slow the spread.
Governor Cuomo also announced a partnership with Rosie Perez and Chris Rock, who will help New York State build communication and education on the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing and the availability of testing and healthcare in the state.
The Governor also announced that New York State will distribute 1 million masks to New York City’s hardest-hit neighborhoods today. The state has already distributed more than 8 million masks across New York City, including to NYCHA developments, food banks, churches, and homeless shelters. New York State maintains a comprehensive testing network throughout the state, including more than 225 sites in New York City. New York’s extensive testing—the state currently conducts tens of thousands of tests per day—now allows the government to pinpoint the state’s hardest-hit neighborhoods for additional supplies and other aid.
The Governor also announced that the MTA will pilot the use of proven UV light technology to kill COVID-19 in subway cars and crew facilities. The MTA currently cleans and disinfects trains every day.
“I’ve been working to communicate this message about masks and how effective they are. They are deceptively effective, they are amazingly effective. And we’ve made them mandatory in public settings, public transportation, et cetera,” Governor Cuomo said. “But when we’re talking about reopening stores and places of business, we’re giving the store owners the right to say, if you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t come in. That store owner has the right to protect themselves. That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store. You don’t want to wear a mask, fine. But you don’t then have a right to then go into that store if that store owner doesn’t want you to.”
Finally, the Governor confirmed 1,768 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 366,733 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 366,733 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, there are 127 cases in Herkimer County with 4 deaths.