OSWEGO — Anyone within the city hosting a non-essential gathering of any size for any reason, other than those exempted by order of the governor, will be arrested, according to an executive order effective immediately issued Friday by Mayor William Barlow.
Furthermore, the address of the gathering as well as the names of the attendees will be reported to the Department of Health.
Mr. Barlow’s order goes on to state the host of any such gathering will be charged with Disorderly Conduct.
“Today’s executive order highlights how serious the city of Oswego is when it comes to social distancing.” Mr. Barlow said in the order. “Students who traveled during spring break and are now back in Oswego and still interacting with groups of people or individuals who continue to have large gatherings of any kind will be held accountable by our local police department.
“We will not tolerate inconsiderate and reckless behavior while the majority of our community is taking the necessary steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. “I encourage residents who observe large gatherings, at any hour, taking place in neighborhoods or establishments, to reach out to the Oswego Police Department, and we will immediately respond,” Mr. Barlow said.
“I’ve also instructed our city of Oswego Code Enforcement Department and Police Department to monitor businesses who may not be following the workforce reduction thresholds or have remained open without being deemed an ‘essential’ business by New York state. The longer we do not properly social distance, the longer we shall have to do it.”
In an interview Friday morning, Mr. Barlow added, “We’ve already observed college students who were foolish enough to travel for spring break come back to our community and not practice social distancing by having house parties and other types of large gatherings. We also have students from downstate who have traveled here to seek refuge from the more dense areas experiencing more positive cases. Similarly, activities with people from all ages, including Oswego residents, have been taking place in our parks that we wish to prevent moving forward.
“The executive order supports the message we’ve been trying to spread throughout our community by encouraging people to socially distance properly,” the mayor continued. “The longer we do not properly social distance, the longer we will have to do it, and that is what people need to realize.
“For younger people specifically, they need to be considerate of our seniors, our immunocompromised and the vulnerable in our community and realize that just because you feel fine, you can still be a carrier and infect the vulnerable.”