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NY health officials send teams of mask enforcers to upstate counties

NY health officials send teams of mask enforcers to upstate counties where people are refusing to wear them despite surges in COVID

  • The Department of Health is sending mask enforcers to Orange and Rockland County 
  • It is against the law not to wear a mask in the state of New York 
  • Anyone who doesn’t may be fined $50 on the spot if they do not comply 
  • Statewide, COVID is spiking just as it is around the country 
  • The worst areas are the Finger Lakes, Central and Western New York 
  • NYC is also seeing a rise in hospitalizations but it is much slower  

New York State health department officials are sending teams of mask enforcers to ‘urgently’ crack down on two upstate counties where people are refusing to wear them despite surging COVID-19 numbers. 

The teams will be sent to Orange County and Rockland County which are around 65 and 35 miles northwest of New York City respectively. 

They have some of the highest COVID numbers in the state and have from the beginning. 

Both are considered ‘micro-clusters’ because the spread there is more out of control than the state average. Both counties also have large orthodox Jewish communities.  

It is against the law not to wear a mask in the state of New York. Anyone who doesn’t may be fined $50 on the spot if they do not comply. 

Health Department spokesman Gary Homes told The New York Post it wasn’t just happening in those areas. 

NYPD officers hand out mask at Domino Park in Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York, in May. The Health Department is now asking for volunteers to hand out masks in two upstate counties 

The mask enforcers are being sent to Orange and Rockland County 

‘It’s all hands on deck. We’re active in all counties where are there are increasing infection rates. These aren’t the only ones,’ he said. 

The test positivity rate in some parts of Orange County is more than 8 percent percent and in Rockland County, it is 5.8 percent. 

By comparison, the statewide rate for all tests that were done on Monday was 4.79 percent. 

‘The DOH is responsible for community outreach and enforcement of Executive Orders and regulations related to the use of face-coverings/masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

‘Staff is needed for immediate URGENT deployment to Orange and Rockland counties to assist with this critical public health and community enforcement effort,’ staff said in a memo.

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned on Tuesday that restrictions were imminent. 

Cuomo says he won’t shut down things like indoor dining unless the hospitalization stabilizes over the next five days. He will make a decision on Monday.

‘I do expect restrictions in a matter of days and, from there, we’ll see what else needs to be done. 

‘No one is happy about it. 

‘I feel for the small businesses that might be affected… but this health situation has to be addressed.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects new limits on the city within days

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects new limits on the city within days

‘I do think we’re going to see new restrictions coming. 

‘We want people to have their livelihoods, we want people to be able to have their jobs but we have to stop this new surge that we’re facing.

‘This is the last big battle,’ he said. 

If hospitals reach a 90 percent capacity, the city will be declared an orange zone and non-essential businesses will close. 

Long Island has the worst hospital capacity of any region with just 18 percent of its beds free. 

New York City has 19 percent left. Statewide, on average, hospitals are 77 percent full.  

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