NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) The mandate to wear masks in non-vaccinated locations goes into effect on Monday across New York state.
That’s because the average number of COVID-19 cases nationwide is up 37% from last week and hospital admissions have increased in at least 42 states, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported on Sunday.
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Rozner was in front of City Point Mall in Brooklyn, where a mixture of people with and without masks came in. Some were unaware that a mask is required to go inside as of Monday. If companies fail to enforce this, they could be fined $ 1,000.
At the entrance to Big Brothers Hardware in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the sign greeted “Face masks must be worn”.
“If not, wait outside. We’ll give you a mask, ”said owner David Ramnauth.
Ramnauth said he supported Governor Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate, but admitted that there were concerns that disgruntled customers could attack his employees.
“We try to be very diplomatic with this and speak to them very politely, saying, ‘Sir, would you like a mask? Do you need something? We look forward to working with you, ‘”said Ramnauth.
A little further down Fulton Street, Royal Sneakers won’t open their doors unless someone is masked.
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“It’s security for everyone, for us and our customers,” said co-owner Harpreed Singh.
According to Hochul, all businesses and venues across the country will have to request indoor masks for everyone or proof of full vaccination as of Monday. The mandate is in place through at least January 15, when the governor re-evaluates COVID conditions.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said Hochul staff asked him Friday to reroute the county’s health department staff from vaccinations to mask mandate enforcement. He said 84% of people 18 and older have been vaccinated, adding that it would be “reckless” to stop the health department from doing the effort.
“The mask mandate is not enforceable. Unless you want the police to lock people up, as they do in Australia, it is unenforceable, ”said Day. “Nobody wants to spend police money on it. You said our health authorities would do that. And I said, ‘That won’t happen.’ I have a health department right now that is doing a great job immunizing people. “
In New York City, proof of full vaccination is already required to dine indoors and go to the gym and entertainment venues. Some say it isn’t fair to suddenly impose it on business owners who are focused on making up for their losses over the holiday season.
At the Christmas market in City Point Mall, a beauty saleswoman said that all of her customers were masked anyway.
“And they still buy lipsticks even though we have to wear the mask,” said Kasha Mann, owner of Ahsak Skincare.
MORE NEWS: Governor Hochul has ordered a mask to be worn indoors in all public places that do not require a vaccination
The nationwide COVID positivity rate is just under 5%. The governor says about 10% of hospitals in the state don’t have the capacity to handle the surge in cases.