Broome Executive Doubts State’s New Gathering Rules Are Enforceable

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BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced new statewide restrictions on private gatherings and businesses.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar during a media briefing held virtually Thursday. (screen capture, Jillian Forstadt/WSKG)

They limit the number of people gathering in a home at 10 or fewer.

Cuomo said he needs local governments to enforce the rules, which go into effect today.

But Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said doing so will be difficult.

“I think that’s something that we should all work to follow because that just makes good public health sense, but I think that’s one that would be very, very hard to enforce,” Garnar said during his COVID-19 briefing Thursday. “I just don’t see that happening.”

Garnar said local law enforcement is responsible for monitoring gatherings, but residents shouldn’t worry about someone knocking on the door to check during Thanksgiving dinner.

Bars and restaurants, as well as any other venue with a State Liquor Authority license, are also required to close all in-person services at 10:00 P.M., according to regulations announced Wednesday.

Businesses can accept take-out orders after that time, but no alcoholic beverages may be served.

Garnar said the majority of local businesses adapt to each new rule without problems.

“These are people who live in our community, and they want to see our community healthy, too,” the County Executive said.

Those businesses that do not comply, however, are subject to enforcement from local police departments.

Gyms are also subject to the new regulations and must close at 10:00 P.M.

Broome County remains a state-designated yellow zone. Garnar said the number of new daily cases had decreased by 40 percent over the last couple of weeks, but gatherings over Halloween weekend have led to an uptick in numbers over the last few days.