Lewis County: Clarifying New York State’s laws for gatherings

LOWVILLE, NY —  As the North Country Region works to begin a phased reopening, Lewis County officials agree that large gatherings with people making sustained close contact are a place where coronavirus can easily infect many people quickly and continue its spread. While people should be able to have fun, facilities or events that attract hundreds of people from outside the region pose a significant public health danger as we try to carefully reopen. These places should be closed and events should continue to be postponed or cancelled until the threat of COVID-19 has subsided
(NY Forward Reopening Guide).

On May 14, 2020, the following directive was issued by the Governor’s Office:

• Executive Order 202.28, which extended the provisions of Executive Orders 202.3, 202.4, 202.5, 202.6, 202.7, 202.8, 202.10, 202.11, 202.13, and 202.14 which each closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses or places of public accommodation, and which required postponement or cancellation of all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations, games, meetings or other social events), which together constitute New York On PAUSE, is hereby continued until 11:59 p.m. on May 28, 2020, unless later amended or extended by a future Executive Order;

o Provided, however, that effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 15, 2020 that the
reductions and restrictions on the in-person workforce at non-essential businesses
or other entities shall no longer apply to Phase One industries.

Current statewide exceptions for this directive include Memorial Day ceremonies with 10 people or less (at the discretion of local governments) and religious gatherings of no more than 10 people.

While this document is intended to provide guidance for large gatherings, with any gathering comes individual responsibility. This means continuing to social distance (maintain 6 feet of separation in public), continuing to wear a mask or face covering, continuing to practice good hand hygiene, and continuing to stay home as much as possible. Remember: I wear my mask to protect YOU.

Please know that New York State guidelines are subject to change as we learn more about this virus. Guidance will be updated and shared as new information is received. Lewis County Public Health would like to commend Lewis County residents for their continued dedication to protecting the health and safety of their fellow community members. Your cooperation has been instrumental in slowing the spread of COVID-19.