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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo Orders Employers To Provide Masks For Essential Workers, Lamont Extends Social Distancing

Kathy Willens
Wearing a mask to protect himself from exposure to coronavirus, Nahid Chowdury prepares a customer's groceries in plastic bags at the Al-Baraka grocery, last month in Brooklyn, N.Y.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says reopening the region after the outbreak will be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. He says there will have to be a regional game plan.

Cuomo also signed an executive order requiring all employers to provide their employees cloth or surgical masks if they have contact with the public. 

“New Jersey did a similar order and I think governor Murphy was right, and I want to do that here in New York,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the masks should be provided at no cost. The state will be supplying masks to state employees as well.

New York is reporting almost 190,000 cases and over 9,300 deaths. 758 people died on Saturday. On Long Island, there are over 44,000 cases. Westchester County has over 19,000. 

In Connecticut, officials said Sunday that 60 more people have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total statewide count to 554 deaths. 

Governor Ned Lamont's office released figures Sunday showing 525 new positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 12,035 cases. 

The most number of cases have been in Fairfield County, which had 5,534, followed by 2,946 in New Haven County. 

Lamont's recent executive order allows up to a four-month grace period for rent payments and extends the state's social distancing measures until May 20.

Governor Lamont is urging residents to sign up for the state's emergency notification system, CT Alert, which provides text message notifications. 

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.
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