New York is the US state that is the most touched by the COVID-19 crisis with over 200,000 confirmed cases, according to John Hopkins University. To move toward normalcy, the spread of the virus has to be contained, and that’s why on Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered that all people wear a face mask in public areas where social distancing isn’t possible, which includes sidewalks, grocery stores, and public transportation. The order will be enforced after a three-day grace period that started on April 15, 2020.
“If you are going to be in a situation, in public,” he said, “where you come into contact with other people in a situation that is not socially distanced, you must have a mask or a cloth covering your nose and mouth.”
The mask can be as simple as a bandana or scarf — as long as it covers both your nose and mouth.
This is not, however, meant to discourage people from leaving the house. “You’re right to go out for a walk in the park,” said Cuomo, “go out for a walk because you need to get out of the house. The dog is getting on your nerves, fine. Don’t infect me. You don’t have a right to infect me. Now, if they don’t accept that and there’s widespread noncompliance, could we go to civil penalty or could I say you can’t be on the trains or buses unless you wear a mask, you could get there.”
Local governments will be enforcing the order, although fines won’t be introduced yet.