NEW YORK — Businesses that violate the state’s COVID-19 reopening rules and guidelines can immediately lose their liquor license or be ordered to shutdown, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared in an executive order Thursday.

The mandate strengthens state enforcement to ensure business compliance during New York’s four-phase gradual reopening of nonessential businesses. The governor also signed a second executive order making bars responsible for the area immediately outside their establishments, expanding the State Liquor Authority enforcement area. SLA investigators are out monitoring enforcement.

“Local governments must get their act together,” Gov. Cuomo said Thursday during a pandemic briefing at his Manhattan office. “If you ignore the rules, then it’s not a phased reopening.”

The state has received 25,000 complaints, including phone calls and letters, about businesses that are not enforcing social distancing guidelines, minimizing crowds or enforcing that patrons wear face masks since New York started reopening nonessential businesses last month.

New York colleges and universities will receive guidance to allow for some in-person instruction and on-campus housing for the fall semester. Campuses must develop reopening, monitoring, containment and shutdown plans.

New York may consider implementing a 14-day mandatory quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from out-of-state travelers as the virus continues to spread in 20 states and Puerto Rico, Gov. Cuomo said.

State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said medical experts do not know enough about COVID-19 antibodies to date to have an efficient antibody test.

“We don’t have an answer yet,” the commissioner said Thursday. “There are multiple different tests. We are speaking to scientists about this exact issue. We don’t know yet.

“Scientists ask why are the numbers down...New York’s done a phenomenal job.”

About 60 to 70 percent of the general population must be infected or exposed to a virus to achieve herd immunity, Mr. Zucker said.

“We’re nowhere near that,” Gov. Cuomo added.

New York City is on track to enter Phase II of reopening Monday. Global experts are studying the numbers and expect to give official clearance Friday.

“The issue going to Phase II or Phase III is compliance by people and enforcement by local government,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It depends on how people act, which is how this has always been determined. And people, especially in New York City, Long Island, compliance matters. And it’s not just moral and ethical, communal — it’s legal. So, be aware of the law, follow the law.”

Officials continue to monitor the number of new positive COVID-19 cases across New York on a daily basis. The state had 618 new positive virus cases Wednesday, or .90 percent of the 68,541 conducted tests, bringing the statewide total to 385,760 cases.

The 0.9 percent positive rate was the state’s lowest since the pandemic began in March. Contact tracers showed a COVID-19 outbreak at an apple processing factory in Central New York caused a small spike in positive cases, visible by the region’s increasing numbers from 0.6 percent positive diagnostic COVID-19 tests Saturday, up to 1.3 percent Sunday and a surge to 3 percent positive Wednesday.

The plant had 34 infected workers to date.

“That’s the only caution sign across New York state,” the governor said.

The state saw 29 virus-related deaths Wednesday, including 22 in hospitals and seven in nursing homes. The state’s daily death toll has continued a flattening decline for several weeks.

Statewide coronavirus hospitalizations declined to 1,358 patients Wednesday, down 121, according to the governor’s office.

The Tribune News Service contributed to this report.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(12) comments

keyser soze

Well if the government is able to force compliance for driving cars on the right side of the street, for not smoking on elevators, for not parking in front of fire hydrants, for not carrying knives and firearms on airplanes, and a entire array of other dangerous activities in the interest of the “common good” -- then why not enforce mask-wearing?

And since states and cities are badly in need of revenue, why not simply issue a fine to the jamokes who insists he/she has the "right" NOT to wear a mask during a pandemic thereby endangering their fellow citizens. In that way, public health may swiftly improve and/or states and cities will collect important revenues.

The last time I checked states and municipalities were still handing out parking tickets and speeding tickets. The response of 20-30% of the negligent public, who insist on being able to imperil everyone else by not wearing masks and not social distancing, is sheer idiocy.

Like it or not, it appears this virus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

And as much as I dislike the idea of having to lawfully force people in compliance, the alternative is less palatable.

Anyone who asserts she/he has such a right should pay-up and shut-up immediately.

Like this dumb A@# right here….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8fkVqEZGRA

Holmes -- the real one

[thumbup]

rockloper

[thumbup]

hermit thrush

stores that break the rules must be punished. otherwise you're implicitly punishing the stores that follow the rules.

rockloper

I called Stewart's corporate office this am and was told since it's not a law they could't enforce it! WHAAAAT? She said I know how you feel it's the same way in the Stewart's she goes too. WHAAAAT? Mind you they're headquartered in Saratoga cty. I placed a call with the Covid hotline and haven't heard back yet.

Holmes -- the real one

Well, it is a law.

I can't blame any one cashier for not trying to enforce it though -- especially at Stewart's. They are open early and often the staff at that time is limited. They also have a lot of customers who are in the Trump camp. Some are 2nd amendment sanctuary types, lots of MAGA hats...

I require masks at my business. If someone were to object I would tell them that it's the law and it's on me if I don't require it. So far it hasn't been a problem for me -- but then maybe my particular business doesn't attract the same clientele as Stewart's.

No. 202.34: Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20234-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

No. 202.35: Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20235-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

rockloper

[thumbup] Tractor supply enforces it for sure.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Eagle24

It's not just bars....many , if not all stores aren't enforcing this.. my experience is 80+% of people of wearing masks... the other 20% aren't....and are either wearing a MAGA hat...or got a Trump bumper sticker on their vehicle...go figure...

Stores don't want to offend those 20% of customers, once fined, they'd get past that.. Who's enforcing????

rockloper

Good points Eagle. Tractor Supply is enforcing it and their employees get flack from it. I commend them. I had a manager at Save-A-Lot tell me that very thing - "we aren't going to turn anyone away. Maybe what's needed is to make phone calls to district managers etc. Look how quickly things blew up in Oswego County. It doesn't take much and it could happen anywhere.

Holmes

Yep, it’s those pesky Trump supporters not wearing masks. Those MAGA hats and bumper stickers give those non-mask wearing Republicans away. It must be difficult being a liberal living in a solid red district in deep blue NY. Sounds like those Trump supporters hit a nerve. Good.

rockloper

Good. jeff are you paying attention? You could cry on stefanik's shoulder if you violate.

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