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Cuomo to beef up state enforcement of business compliance with reopening rules

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, June 18 in New York City. (Photo credit: Don Pollard/ Office of the Governor)

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday announced he will issue an executive order strengthening state enforcement during the state’s phased reopening to ensure business compliance of the social distancing and other safety rules.

Businesses that violate the reopening rules and guidelines are subject to “immediate loss of their liquor license and a shutdown order.” The governor also announced he will issue an executive order to expand the enforcement areas of the State Liquor Authority by giving bars responsibility for the area immediately outside their locations.

“As we go through these phases of reopening, the compliance and enforcement function of local government gets more difficult. We’re going to take an added step where I’m going to increase the state’s enforcement capacity by executive order,” Cuomo said at his penultimate daily COVID-19 briefing in New York City. “…Violations of the rules and the regulations could allow State Liquor Authority to do an immediate suspension of an alcohol license, which means a bar or a restaurant that are violating the rules could have an immediate suspension of their license. [A] business that is violating the rules could have an immediate shutdown order.”

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The state again reported the lowest percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in the last day since the pandemic began. New York had 618 new coronavirus infections out of 68,541 tests conducted statewide, which is a 0.9 percent infection rate.

All regions of the state had infection rates below 2 percent except Central New York, which had 3 percent of those tested in the last day test positive, up from 1.1 percent the day before. Cuomo said that was due to a cluster of 34 coronavirus cases at Champlain Valley Specialty of NY, Inc., a food processing facility in the town of Oswego.

Cuomo will hold his final regularly scheduled coronavirus daily briefing on Friday.

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