Cuomo’s New Policy Will Hold Local Governments Responsible For Enforcing COVID-19 Guidelines

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(WUTR-TV) — Throughout the pandemic, Governor Cuomo has issued a number of executive orders to help stop the spread of the virus. Now, Cuomo is pushing a policy that would hold local governments responsible for not enforcing the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“We enforced things before the state did. We put a mask order in before the state. We closed things before the state. We were doing inspections before the state said we had to. As far as Oneida County is concerned, I’m not overly concerned about enforcing or lack of enforcement quite frankly we’ve been doing it.” – Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive

Cuomo’s statement is in response to the rising number of positives downstate in places like Brooklyn, Queens and Rockland and Orange counties. Picente says the entire state shouldn’t be punished for a few regions that lack enforcement.

“We’re talking about a few specific areas and if that’s his case then he should talk about those few specific areas. . . Our rates are as low as any place in the state if not, one of the lowest.” – Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive

Businesses that violate these guidelines can face fines or get completely shutdown, but holding individuals responsible is where the lines get blurred.

“If you knowingly infected someone, yes you can be charged, but again the term is knowingly. . . On the individual basis it’s very difficult, it’s a very gray area.” – Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive

Picente says the county will continue to hold briefings as needed and provide the public with daily COVID-19 updates.

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