New York to require face coverings in busy public places

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A jogger wearing a mask runs along Brooklyn Bridge Park, Tuesday night, April 14, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic in New York. Known as "The City That Never Sleeps," New York's streets are particularly empty during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK – Even as politicians talk about “reopening” the country, New York is still intensifying restrictions intended to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Face coverings will be now be required in any place where people can't stay at least six feet away from other people. While other isolation measures seem to have worked in keeping new infections down, New Yorkers continue to die by the hundreds every day. Meanwhile, New York City officials said they would create an emergency food reserve and take other steps to fight hunger in a city where huge numbers of people have been thrown out of work.

Here are the latest coronavirus developments in New York:

FACE COVERINGS

New York residents will be required to wear face coverings anytime they come into close contact with other people outside their homes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

The mandate will require a mask or face covering, like a bandanna, on busy streets, public transit, or any situation where people cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing, even if it is passing a person briefly on a wooded trail. The order takes effect Friday.

“Stopping the spread is everything. How can you not wear a mask when you’re going to come close to a person?” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “On what theory would you not do that?”

The governor, who has himself eschewed masks during his daily news briefings, though he comes within six feet of his staff, said there will initially be no civil penalties for noncompliance, but he’s urging merchants to enforce it among customers.