An angry Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened to shut down the state again if New Yorker don’t do a better job of following the rules.
That was his message Sunday, after states, including Oregon and Utah—where COVID-19 numbers have soared—began rolling back reopening.
“Imagine how dramatic and dangerous this situation has to be for a state to say ‘We’re stopping the reopening,’” Governor Cuomo said at Sunday’s press conference.
But it’s a step he said he’s prepared to take—by city, by region, or even across the entire state—if numbers here change.
“We are not kidding around with this,” he said. “You are jeopardizing people’s lives.”
Governor Cuomo singled out the downstate regions of Manhattan and the Hamptons for blatantly ignoring the state’s restrictions on large gatherings and masks and social distancing requirements, but said statewide, there have been 25,000 complaints of people violating the rules.
“Twenty-five thousand complaints,” he said. “We’ve never received more complaints in a shorter period of time. Twenty-five thousand—just think about it.”
It’s to New York’s credit that people are outraged enough that they’re calling and complaining, he said, as he continued to attribute the state’s steady decline to people’s willingness to follow the rules.
Refusing to social distance and wear masks—referencing, in particular, in bars and restaurants—is against the law, Governor Cuomo said, and he called on police, mayors, and county executives to enforce the law.
“You have to do your job,” he said. “Local government, do your job. If we have to close, then people are going to hold you accountable. Bars and restaurants, do your job…Individuals who are violating the law, you can be held liable also.
“We got here because people did the right thing and if we stop doing the right thing, we’ll see a very different trajectory.”
If that changes—if New York’s numbers start to climb back up, “Before I reverse a statewide position, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do: I’m going to reverse it in those areas that are not in compliance,” Governor Cuomo said.
But if doesn’t work, he said, there will be no choice but to re-pause a region or the entire state.
New York’s numbers are at the lowest they’ve been since mid-March with hospitalizations at 1,657; and 23 deaths Saturday, down from a record-high 800 at COVID’s peak.
Twenty-two states, however, are seeing increases, most of them states without New York’s urban density, Governor Cuomo said.
In Schoharie, the number of positive COVID cases remains at 54 with one death.
Low-risk sports for kids can begin reopening July 6.
Pools can also open, day camps, but not overnight camps, and local schools are keeping an eye on graduation restrictions before finalizing their plans.