Cuomo urges local officials in areas with high COVID infection rate to enforce CDC's recommended mask mandate
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging local officials in areas with a high infection rate to enforce the CDC's recommended mask mandate.
Most of the Hudson Valley has what the CDC is calling a substantial risk rate, the agency's second highest risk category.
Last week, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange counties were a level below, but the numbers are climbing quickly.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer says the problem is that local officials like him have limited authority in enforcing a mask mandate.
He says they can only do so on county properties, such as pools and beaches. That mandate was reinstated last week.
Latimer says he can't impose mask wearing at private businesses.
"We do not as a county government, I do not as a county executive have the ability to issue mandates that affect the totality of society. The governor holds those executive authorities and as we watch his reports on a regular basis, he determines what he feels he can introduce and impose," he says.
Gov. Cuomo said local officials must issue mask mandates, explaining that because the state of emergency has been lifted, a mask mandate would have to be a state law.
News 12 reached out to state officials right to see if such a law is being drafted.