While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (for example, grocery stores and pharmacies), New York State and New York City government are requiring that New Yorkers wear a face covering when in public and unable to maintain social distance.
New York State Order to Wear Masks
Effective Friday, April 17th, any individual over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering in NYS is required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place when unable to maintain social distancing. In addition, anyone operating or riding on public transit must wear a mask or face covering, as well as anyone operating a for-hire vehicle (taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc.). The only exception is if an individual has a condition that makes covering the face medically intolerable. The order will remain in effect until Cuomo chooses to rescind it or until he declares an end to the state’s coronavirus emergency, whichever comes first.
Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.34 stating that private businesses have the right to refuse service to individuals who are not wearing masks. To file a complaint for non-compliance visit: https://mylicense.custhelp.com/app/ask.
New York City Order to Wear Masks
NYC is advising New Yorkers to wear face coverings when outside and near people to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others. However, the City is asking people to not use N95 or surgical masks and save them for medical and other frontline people who need them. People should use a scarf or bandana or a piece of clothing or make their own. For a NYC FAQ on face coverings, click here.
All essential businesses must provide and their employees must wear a face covering when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Additionally, NYC has offered guidance to supermarkets and grocery stores recommending that stores require shoppers wear face coverings when they enter.
For more information, visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-prevention-and-care.page.
U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guidance on mask reuse is available here.