NEW YORK CITY — Saying many local governments are still doing a poor job of enforcing state rules, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state will take over COVID-19 regulation enforcement in all hot spots.
He listed Western New York as a hot spot, with a 1.2 percent infection rate Sunday, and compared hot spots to fires in which “the only recourse is to run to those embers and immediately stamp them out.” He did not clarify whether Western New York is part of the state takeover, but reiterated that this region is a hot spot.
“The state is going to take over the enforcement of all the hot spots in New York State,” Cuomo said. “Local governments will have to provide us with personnel.”
People don’t seem to understand what enforcement means, Cuomo explained.
“Oh, that’s so harsh, enforcement. It’s not, enforcement is kind because it saves lives,” Cuomo said.
“Too many local governments are not doing enforcement,” Cuomo said. “Warnings are not enforcement. Saying ‘put a mask on or I will ticket you’ is not enforcement,” he said. “Everybody knows the rules. We’ve been saying “You can get away with it for too long.”
Cuomo said there is no longer a need to educate people about COVID, but now is the time to enforce the rules.
“There is no person in the state of New York who needs you to tell them, at this point, they need to wear a mask. There’s no need for public education at this point. You will see people die if we don’t do more enforcement,” the Governor said.
Cuomo argued that any rule is only as good as its enforcement, “especially when it’s a rule people don’t want to follow.”