CATSKILL – Greene County Sheriff Peter Kusminsky says his office will not actively enforce the governor’s executive order regarding gatherings in people’s homes.
Governor Cuomo imposed the restriction because of the spread of COVID-19, but Sheriff Kusminsky said his office “[does] not have the resources, or inclination, to peep into everyone’s home to see how many people are at the dinner table.”
If the executive order did purport to establish a crime of exceeding 10 people in a residence, the sheriff said it would be “unconstitutionally vague, and we would have no practical way of enforcing it.”
And he said law enforcement could not enter a private residence to count occupants without a search warrant and it would not likely be able to acquire one, and he questioned how “we could credibly explain to a citizen that it is okay to eat with more than 49 strangers in a restaurant, but eating at home with 10 other family members will result in arrest?”
Kusminsky said they are not encouraging people to have large gatherings in their homes. “We want citizens to use their own best judgment and remain safe,” he said. “We do not know the correct number for safety. We doubt if anyone does.”
But the sheriff said people should consider a number of factors when socializing – Are any of the people at high risk? From where are they traveling? It is more or less likely that they have been recently exposed to the disease? Are they regularly in your circle of contacts anyway? Is your home large enough that you can safely accommodate a large number of guests?