ALBANY – Addressing New Yorkers flouting social distancing precautions, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said during his Monday press conference that maximum fines for violations would double from $500 to $1,000.
“Nobody wants the money. We want the compliance,” said Gov. Cuomo. “Frankly, you don’t have the right to burden [emergency rooms] with your irresponsibility. You don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life.”
The Governor literally doubled down Monday, following weekend weather that inspired many New Yorkers to congregate in public areas. This despite recommendations from health care officials in virtually every town and county in the state, as well as federal guidelines from the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and President Donald J. Trump.
Throughout the Capital Region, municipalities are increasingly closing parks, preserves, and natural areas to help enforce compliance.
Cuomo also pointed to large religious and funeral gatherings as defying public health measures.
“Now’s not the time to go to a funeral with 200 people,” furthered Gov. Cuomo. “I understand grieving, and I understand how the religious services can help with the grieving process. But, as a society, the risk is too great.”
Seemingly bouncing back from the single greatest one-day growth in confirmed cases and deaths since the outbreak began, New York has seen two subsequent days of dropping hospitalization rates.
Cuomo says that’s no reason to be lax, and that dropping numbers means social distancing is effective, not that it should be ignored.