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Cuomo says compliance with COVID safety measures is slipping; indoor dining in NYC postponed


Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the rate of the COVID-19 virus continues to be low in New York, with 11 deaths on June 30, but he said he worries that compliance with safety rules is slipping. Because of that, the governor said he’s postponing permission to allow indoor dining in New York City.

Cuomo said because the virus rate is now so low in the state, some have developed a false sense of security and are neglecting to wear their masks and to social distance.

"Citizen compliance is slipping," Cuomo said. "We have to stay ahead of the virus."

He said the crisis in other states, including Arizona, Florida, and Texas, where the virus is spiking, shows what can happen again New York if people don’t follow the rules.

Cuomo blamed local governments, who are supposed to enforce rules at restaurants, bars, stores and other public places, who he said are not doing their jobs. He said the state of New York plans to step in.

"The state’s going to create its own enforcement capacity to supplement the local government's enforcement," Cuomo said. "But I do not have the resources, the personnel, to do this statewide."

The governor said he’s postponing the opening of indoor dining in New York City, which was scheduled to occur this week, because he said patrons of bars and restaurants with outdoor dining are not obeying safety rules, and the owners of the establishment and local officials are not enforcing those rules.

Several other regions of the state, including most of upstate, are in phase 3 or 4, and continue to allow limited indoor dining. The governor said there are also compliance issues in those areas, too.

Cuomo said his team continues to "explore" ways to install better air conditioning filters in indoor spaces, including restaurants, as well as malls, gyms, and movie theaters, which are still closed indefinitely in all of New York.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.