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FACE MASKS: Origins and Enforcement 

As New York State and the world have progressed through the COVID-19 pandemic, much has been said, written, debated and recommended when it comes to the wearing of a “Face mask or Face covering” to slow the spread of the COVID virus. The NYS Governor has issued many Executive Orders related to the wearing of face coverings, some of which are enforceable under the NYS Public Health Law and some are not enforceable under law but are deemed highly recommended.

Below are all of the executive orders and guidance on Facemasks per the Governor and New York State, everything pertaining to enforcement is highlighted in red. 

Executive Order 202.16: For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health LawThis requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

Executive Order 202.17: Issued on April 15, 2020, provides the following directive: Effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.

Add a subheading-13Executive Order 202.18: Issued on April 16, 2020, provides the following directive: Any person utilizing public or private transportation carriers or other for-hire vehicles, who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering, shall wear a mask or face covering over the nose and mouth during any such trip; any person who is operating such public or private transport, shall likewise wear a face covering or mask which covers the nose and mouth while there are any passengers in such vehicle. This directive shall take effect in the same manner as Executive Order 202.17, at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Executive Memorandum: Issued April 17, 2020, Facemask Guidance from New York State Police Deputy Superintendent: Unlike the prior business closure and social distance orders there is NO specific penalty or enforcement mechanism provided for face covering violations, and the New York State Department of Health emergency regulations do not currently require face coverings to be worn. Therefore, Police Officers have NO clear enforcement authority with respect to this order. Public Health Law 12-b cannot be charged unless DOH regulations are first amended to incorporate the face covering requirement. Likewise, there is no discernable basis within the NYS Penal Law to take enforcement action solely due to a person failing to adhere to the face covering requirement.

Executive Order 202.34: Issued May 28, 2020, Business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf shall have the discretion to ensure compliance with the directive in Executive Order 202.17 (requiring any individual over age two, and able to medically tolerate a face-covering, be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place), including the discretion to deny admittance to individuals who fail to comply with the directive in Executive Order 202.17 or to require or compel their removal if they fail to adhere to such directive, and such owner or operator shall not be subject to a claim of violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment, or frustration of purpose, solely due to their enforcement of such directive. Nothing in this directive shall prohibit or limit the right of State and local enforcement authorities from imposing fines or other penalties for any violation of the directive in Executive Order 202.17. This directive shall be applied in a manner consistent with the American with Disabilities Act or any provision of either New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, or any other provision of law.

Absent a business owner signing a complaint for trespass should an individual not leave when asked by the business or building owner because he/she is not wearing a mask, it again appears that Law Enforcement has NO NYS Penal Law violations which can be charged and Public Health Law 12-b does not apply in this situation. 

Is there a penalty for not wearing a mask in public? 

No. The Governor has said there could potentially be civil penalties incurred if there is widespread non-compliance. When asked, The Governor said he does not want to go to a penalty system at this point, acknowledging the majority of citizens have complied with social distancing directives. 

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March 22, 2020



March 7th, 2020




March 7th, 2020


Please read below for the city’s response to the Coronavirus, for additional information on the virus, symptoms and preventing the spread of germs, please refer to Saratoga County Public Health and the CDC recommendations.CoronavirusRelease


March 6, 2020

Celebrating our first Coffee with a Cop!

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Thank you to our friends at Starbucks for hosting our first Coffee with a CopCoffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together–over coffee–to discuss issues and learn more about each other. This morning’s CWC was such a success, we look forward to making this an ongoing community event in Saratoga Springs. If your business is interested in hosting Coffee with the SSPD, let us know by clicking here!


March 5, 2020

A tour of the Lake Avenue Firehouse with Chief Pete Shaw

IMG_5665Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Saratoga Springs Fire Department Station on Lake Avenue, from Chief Pete Shaw - he and the firefighters at the station walked me through the engines, ambulances and quite literally all the bells and whistles of the SSFD! We have a world-class fire department and EMS team and I was in awe of the complexity and detail that go into maintaining and manning our city’s firehouses. A HUGE thank you to Chief Shaw for taking the time to walk me through the station and to all of the men and women of the SSFD for everything you do for our community! Above are a few snapshots of the Lake Avenue Station - 

February 18, 2020


So impressed and proud of our Saratoga Springs Police Department, all of whom are spending the week running active shooter drills while schools are on winter break. This afternoon I witnessed more than a dozen scenarios (all taken from actual active shooter events) play out -officers and dispatchers were on-site training, running drills and analyzing their responses, again and again. Below are several photos of their training this afternoon, I applaud our entire department for their pro-active approach to school safety, dedication to preparedness and education- thank you all!
~Commissioner Dalton

February 10, 2020

Albany / VLT Aid
Click here to see the full testimony of Mayor Kelly, Commissioner Madigan and Commissioner Dalton at the NY State Budget Hearing on February 10, 2020.

January 28, 2020

State of the City
Click here to see the entire State of the City Address, live-streamed from the Saratoga Springs City Center

January 1, 2020

2020 Inauguration
The first City Council meeting of the new year on January 1, 2020, presided over by Mayor Meg Kelly. The following elected officials were sworn into their offices: -Meg Kelly, Mayor -Michele D. Madigan, Commissioner of Finance -Anthony J. Scirocco, Commissioner of Public Works -Robin Dalton, Commissioner of Public Safety -John P. Franck, Commissioner of Accounts -Tara N. Gaston, County Supervisor -Matthew E. Veitch, County Supervisor The master of ceremonies was Joseph J. Ogden, and the event began with a color guard from the Saratoga Springs Police Department. The National Anthem was sung by Natalie Perkins, and other music was provided by Rick and Sharon Bolton. Chaplain Sid Gordon, Disabled American Veterans, delivered the Invocation and Reverend Carole Miller, SSFD Chaplain, delivered the Benediction. 

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