New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that places of worship must abide by the pandemic restrictions at a press conference on Oct. 5, 2020.
"If you do not agree to follow the rules, then we will close the institutions down. I am prepared to do that," Cuomo warned.
Cuomo spoke about his plans to close schools that were located in New York City "hot spots" and issued a warning to shut down churches and synagogues.
As Cuomo referred to a photo of a Christian and Jewish gathering, he claimed that religious institutions have been a problem.
"You don't see masks. And you see clear violations of social distancing," Cuomo commented about the displayed photo which was later proven to be more than a decade old by a Hasidic Jewish community called Satmar Headquarters.
Cuomo proceeded with listing requirements for keeping religious institutions open in a statement, "If we're going to keep religious institutions open, it can only be with two conditions. One, the community must agree, whether it's the Jewish community, whether we're talking about black churches, whether we're talking about Roman Catholic churches, the religious community has to agree to the rules and they have to agree that they are going to follow the rules. And they have to agree that they are going to be a full partner in the enforcement of the rules," Cuomo listed.
The second condition is to enforce strict social distancing rules and capacity limits as Cuomo said in a statement, "If the rule is no more than 50% of the people in a black church, I want someone at the door when 50% enter the church, a person there who says to the pastor, you agree to follow the rules. That's 50%. That's it or we close it down."
"If you do not agree to enforce the rules, then we'll close the institutions down," Cuomo warned.