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Cuomo to New York State: be responsible, wear a mask

Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said the department has not taken any enforcement action against anyone not wearing a mask.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New Yorkers need to act responsibly and intelligently by wearing a mask in public.

Cuomo says every New Yorker needs to do their part, saying it is the public's social responsibility to wear a mask and socially distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I know the weather is getting warmer, I know people want to get out of there house. Fine, wear a mask and socially distance," Cuomo said.

The governor went on to stress that anyone looking to honor health care workers should do so by wearing a mask. Cuomo says the best way to say thank you is by making their lives easier by not getting sick, and by not making someone else sick.

Cuomo is asking local law enforcement to enforce his executive order and is offering state police if they need help.

"I’ve said to all the local government heads enforce it, enforce it," he said. "Because it’s not only a public health risk and really it’s such a little thing to ask of people at a time when people are doing so much."

2 On Your Side spoke with Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo, who said the department has not taken any enforcement action against anyone not wearing a mask.

"We have had situations where people were either too congregated in a certain area, or they were not wearing masks in situations where they were in close proximity to other people. Nine-and-a-half out of 10 times we simply ask people to either disperse, or go in a different direction, and everybody has been compliant," Rinaldo said. 

Cuomo announced Sunday morning that all hospitals in New York State are now required to have a 90-day supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at quantities that can meet the rate of use during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that each hospital must have its own personal stockpile of gowns, masks, and other equipment it could need for a 90-day supply.

Cuomo also announced that New York State is teaming up with New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to form a regional purchasing consortium. The consortium will allow all seven states to jointly procure PPE along with tests, ventilators and other medical equipment.

The governor says launching a regional buying consortium makes New York and the surrounding states more competitive to international market place, adding that he believes it will save the taxpayers money. Cuomo added that it will help the states acquire equipment and get it at a better price.

The consortium will also aim to buy products from American companies and develop new in-state suppliers to reduce supply chain risk.

Thus far, New York State has purchased at least $2 billion in equipment and supplies this year, purchasing PPE from China and other parts of the world. Cuomo says the consortium plans to purchase about $5 billion worth of equipment and supplies. 

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