New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he’s doubling the fine for people violating his stay at home order during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The maximum fine is going from $500 to $1,000.
“Nobody wants the money, we want the compliance,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany.
He cited anecdotal evidence that New Yorkers are violating his mandate at a higher rate than before while showing pictures of people gathering at parks and other public places in New York City on April 4, including Union Square, a popular area in midtown Manhattan, and Domino Park, a public park on the East River in Brooklyn.
“None of us has the right to be reckless in our own behavior, which compounds the problem we are dealing with,” Cuomo said. “Now is not the time to play Frisbee with your friends in the park. Now is not the time to go to a funeral with 200 people.”
People wanted to enjoy the weather over the weekend and spend time outdoors, but it’s imperative to only leave home for essential trips, the governor stressed.
He later showed pictures of 10 frontline workers, including nurses and a police officer, and urged people to remember them when deciding whether or not to leave home.
The CCP virus is primarily thought to spread between people in close contact through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People who aren’t showing symptoms can transmit the illness, federal officials said last week, citing a raft of studies dating back to February.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation for people to wear masks when going out. In most states, people are ordered or advised only to go out for essential trips, such as getting groceries, obtaining medicine, or getting exercise.
Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have repeatedly exhorted New Yorkers to take the virus seriously. Officials ordered playgrounds and basketball courts shut down last week while dog parks were closed on Monday.