Police agencies in New York are cracking down on groups that fail to practice social distancing protocols, and now area residents have the means to report unlawful gatherings.
This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the maximum fine for those failing to social distance has increased from $500 to $1,000, as the number of novel coronavirus cases (COVID-19) continues to rise throughout the state.
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“We’re serious about this. It’s not about your life. You don’t have the right to risk anyone else’s health,” Cuomo said. “We want local governments to enforce social distancing rules. I want to be more aggressive with enforcement because the evidence shows that people are violating it now more than ever before.
“You don’t have the right to risk healthcare staff and people who are literally putting their lives on the line. You can’t be that cavalier or negligent with someone else’s life.”
In response, a hotline has been set up, and area residents can now call the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force by calling 1-833-789-0470 to report violations of social distancing. Photos and video of illegal gatherings are also welcome.
Officials said that complaints can also be filed online anonymously here.
“I know it’s like a ‘Groundhog Day’ situation we’re living in this bizarre reality,” he said. “I get it, but it’s only been 37 days. What we do affects the number of cases, our behavior affects the number of cases, we’re the ones generating the cases, they aren’t descending from heaven.
“We’ve been seeing it, social distancing is working. That’s why you see those numbers coming down. If we were having the same amount of interaction, that number would be going up. So let’s not get complacent, let’s stay disciplined. We need to stay smart, stay safe, and we’re doing that by staying home and we will do that by staying together.”
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