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New Yorkers can now be fined up to $1,000 for not wearing a face mask in public

The new mandate comes amid the current coronavirus spike in NYC.

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Written by
Collier Sutter
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New Yorkers could now be fined up to $1,000 if they don't wear a face covering in public, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. 

The new mandate comes after de Blasio announced this week a spike in coronavirus cases in NYC. New York hasn't seen a positivity rate this high (3 percent), since early June.

“This is an inflection point and we will be taking more action at this point and more serious action and we will be escalating with each day depending on what we see happening on the ground and the test results we are getting,” de Blasio said in a press conference.

The New York State Department of Health issued a change to its "Enforcement of Social Distancing Measures." Among the amendments are fines to New Yorkers who aren't wearing a mask or practicing safe social distancing.

"Individuals who violate this are subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation," New York State Department of Health writes.

The current clusters of cases are popping up in nine ZIP codes through Brooklyn and Queens. The city Department of Mental Health and Hygiene issued updated data on Tuesday on the neighborhoods that are hotspots: Gravesend/Homecrest (6.92%); Midwood (5.64%); Kew Gardens (3.31%); Edgemere/Far Rockaway (4.91%); Borough Park (6.23%); Bensonhurst/Mapleton (6.05%); Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay (4.05%); Flatlands/Midwood (4.73%); Kew Gardens Hills/Pomonok (3.60%).
The $1,000 citywide fine is not the only fine in motion either— per an emergency ruling in mid September by Gov. Andrew Cuomo with the MTA, riders who refuse to wear a mask on New York City subways, trains and buses, can also face $50 fines. 

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