All New Yorkers are required to wear cloth face coverings or masks in situations where a six-foot social distance cannot be maintained.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's latest executive order geared towards slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus goes into effect Friday.
"If you are going to be in a situation in public where you may come into contact with other people in a situation that is not socially distanced, you must have a mask or a cloth covering nose and mouth," Cuomo announced at his daily press briefing Wednesday.
The governor did not go into detail about penalties associated with noncompliance. Earlier social distancing measures in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic were enforced with warnings before the state gave law enforcement the power to issue fines of up to $1,000.
New York remains the state hardest hit by the pandemic. By Thursday morning, the state had reported more than 213,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 15,640 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
Though state data suggests New York is inching beyond the peak of the crisis, relaxation of social distancing measures could result in a devastating peak in new cases, as many Asian nations have experienced.
Cuomo says the only way for the state's economy to successfully reopen is if New Yorkers maintain a level of informed caution and slow the spread of the virus.
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