New York to require all people to wear masks when in public

Anyone outside in public in New York will be required to wear a mask or some kind of face covering under a new executive order from Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFlorida health officials agreed to receive remdesivir from New York before DeSantis dismissed offer Cuomo says Northeast will likely see rise in COVID-19 cases due to surge in other parts of country Overnight Health Care: Coronavirus deaths rise again amid mounting outbreaks | The Trump-Fauci divide is getting more apparent | New York to deliver remdesivir to Florida after DeSantis dismisses offer for help MORE (D).

Cuomo on Wednesday said the order will apply only in situations where you can't be physically distant from other people, like riding public transit.

“If you are going to be in a situation, in public, where you come into contact with other people in a situation that is not socially distanced you must have a mask or a cloth covering nose and mouth,” Cuomo said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cuomo said there will be a three-day window before the order takes effect to make sure everyone can get into compliance. Local governments would enforce the order, but they won't be issuing fines yet, he said.

Cuomo’s order comes nearly two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that everyone wear face coverings in public. Other states and cities have been enacting similar orders for going to the grocery store and other essential businesses. 

Cuomo said the masks are part of the state moving to a “new normal” as the governor outlined a gradual reopening of businesses, noting the crisis won’t be over until a vaccine is made available.

Cuomo said the outbreak in New York appears to be leveling off, but the state is not close to being "out of the woods."

Still, Como said New York will be donating ventilators to Maryland and Michigan to help as those states experience a surge in COVID-19 cases.

He said the state will give 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 to Maryland.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We've stabilized our health care situation," Cuomo said during his daily press conference, but other states are just beginning to experience a surge. 

The governor noted that New York promised to be there for other states in their times of need, just like those states were there to help New York. 

"There are other places in the country seeing increases in the death rate. I will never forget the generosity people across this country showed to our state," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said intubations are down, ICU admissions are down and total hospitalization rates are slightly down, even though there are still more than 2,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals every day.