Gov. Andrew Cuomo is again demanding local governments — especially those near New York City — do their job when it comes to enforcing pandemic restrictions.
The governor says he's closely watching the city and Long Island, questioning why local law enforcement has repeatedly failed to break up large crowds at bars and restaurants.
More than 130 establishments were issued citations recently for violations of Gov. Cuomo's executive orders on social distancing.
"Our economy is reopening, the infection rate has stayed down because we have done compliance," Cuomo said Tuesday. "If we have not done compliance, if we get lazy, if we get sloppy, you will see those numbers go up — I need local governments to do their job."
He added that the state does not have the law enforcement manpower enforce the rules on behalf of localities, but he again welcomed blame for the draconian restrictions.
Compliance with the CDC-recommended rules, Cuomo says, is the reason New York City hospitals weren't completely overrun by COVID-19 patients this spring. Nearly all city hospitals were operating as COVID-19 intensive care units for several weeks at the peak of the outbreak in the five boroughs.
Currently all 10 inter-county regions of New York State are in Phase 4 of reopening, but New York City has additional restrictions against indoor activities in place, as officials worry about coronavirus spikes in other states.
Tri-State area governors remain concerned that out-of-state travelers could unknowingly spread the virus and cause new outbreaks in the congested NYC Metropolitan area.
New York State officials have reported at least two instances where outbreaks were traced back to people who recently arrived from states increasing COVID cases.
New York has the most COVID-19-related deaths of any U.S. state.
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