By Gabriella Borter
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that local governments and police departments were failing to disband parties that violated social distancing orders and warned that he might need to roll back the state’s reopening if that continued.
The warning came after a warm summer weekend when people across New York City were seen gathered in groups of hundreds partying outdoors at bars and restaurants, some not wearing masks.
“The police department is not there to inform them of mask compliance,” Cuomo said at a news conference. “Police departments have to enforce the law.”
Calling out no one in particular, but referencing New York City and Long Island repeatedly, Cuomo told elected leaders that while enforcing guidelines may come with added unpopularity, a potential increase in the spread would be far worse.
“We will have to roll back the bar and restaurant opening if the congregations continue, if the local governments don’t stop it,” he added.
New York‘s coronavirus hospitalizations fell to the lowest level since March 18, with 716 total on Sunday, Cuomo said. The state’s infection rate was around 1% on Sunday.
New York City was slated to move into phase 4 of reopening on Monday, including the opening of botanical gardens and zoos, but last week the governor delayed the resumption of indoor service at bars and restaurants in the city to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
“Don’t be stupid,” Cuomo said, scolding the congregants and the bars that welcome them. “What they’re doing is stupid and reckless for themselves and for other people, and it has to stop.”
-With amNewYork Metro
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