ALBANY — New Yorkers must maintain social-distancing discipline until the coronavirus is defeated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday — or face a fine now doubled to $1,000.
“Frankly, there has been a laxness on social-distancing, especially over this past weekend,” said Cuomo told reporters during his daily press briefing at the state Capitol. “That is just wholly unacceptable.”
A visibly-irked Cuomo went off as spring weather has tempted cooped up New Yorkers out of self-imposed isolation — to the risk of themselves and their neighbors.
“If you get infected [or] you infect someone else [or] you go to an emergency room, you put a burden on all sorts of other people who you don’t know and who, frankly, you don’t have the right to burden with your irresponsibility,” he said.
“Now is not the time to be lax, and it is a mistake,” said Cuomo, even as the rate of deaths in the state appears to be leveling off.
Asked about funerals in Hasidic Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County — which have drawn hundreds of people in defiance of social-distancing orders — Cuomo said that there was no justification for flouting the rules.
“Now is not the time to be playing Frisbee with your friends in the park. Now’s not the time to go to a funeral with 200 people,” he said. “I understand grieving, and I understand how the religious services can help with the grieving process.
“But, as a society, the risk is too great.”
With so many New Yorkers still not getting it, Cuomo announced that he was raising the maximum potential fine for not social-distancing from $500 to $1,000.
“It’s not really about the fine. Nobody wants the money,” he insisted. “We want the compliance. We are serious.
“It’s not about your life; you don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life.”