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COVID-19: Putnam Sheriff Takes Issue With State Law Limiting Number Of People At Gatherings

Sheriff Robert Langley Jr.
Sheriff Robert Langley Jr. Photo Credit: Putnam County Sheriff's Office

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the Putnam County Sheriff is taking issue with a new state law limiting non-essential indoor gatherings to 10 people.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week, that effective Friday, Nov. 13, all non-essential indoor gatherings at a private residence to 10 people.

Sheriff Robert Langley Jr. said that while he's not encouraging people to have large gatherings in their homes, but is rather asking everyone to use their own best judgment to remain safe.

"Would a gathering of 11 people be a greater danger than a gathering of 10, or would a gathering of nine people be substantially less dangerous? I’m not certain of what the correct number for safety would be and doubt if anyone does?" the Sheriff said.

He pointed to the number of factors that would come into play in determining how many people to have in your home including: 

  • Are any of them at high-risk? 
  • Where are they traveling from? 
  • Is it more or less likely that they have been recently exposed to the disease?
  • Are they regularly in your circle of contacts anyway? 
  • Is your home large enough that you can safely accommodate a larger number of guests? 

These are questions that I believe each family needs to answer themselves, Langley said.

"Rather than issuing orders, which are, at best, impossible to enforce, and, at worst, unconstitutional, the governor would better serve the people of New York if he encouraged our citizens to be cautious, use good judgment in weighing risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy our families and our great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe until we can get back to normal," he added. 

He added, that as Sheriff, he sees better use of the department's resources than to disrupt families celebrating the national holiday.

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