Governor orders employers to provide masks for employees who interact with public during pandemic

Posted 12 April 2020 at 2:40 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he will issue an Executive Order directing employers to provide essential workers with cloth or surgical masks free of charge to wear when directly interacting with the public.

Governor Cuomo also announced he will issue an Executive Order to expand eligibility of individuals to conduct antibody tests to help ensure as many New Yorkers as possible have access to antibody testing as the state continues to bring this critical testing to scale. The State previously provided labs with the flexibility to allow more workers to do testing for COVID-19; this executive order expands that authority so the same workers can perform antibody tests.

The Governor also joined National Governors Association Chair, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in a bipartisan effort calling for $500 billion in aid to states. The federal CARES Act contained zero funding to offset drastic state revenue shortfalls. The Governor also reiterated his call for the Federal government to repeal SALT.

“The big question for everyone right now is when do we reopen the economy, but first we need to make sure we have a smart, safe and coordinated plan in place to do it without risking public health,” Cuomo said. “The keys to reopening the economy are continuing to limit the spread of the virus and ramping up antibody testing. I am going to issue two executive orders – one directing employers to provide essential workers with a mask to wear when they are interacting with the public, and one to expand the number of people who are eligible to conduct the antibody test. These measures will be key to getting people back to work and making sure they are protected when they do go back.”

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