Enforcing anti-COVID rules

To the editor:

To all residents and vistors in Essex County:

I would like to thank you all for adhering to the governor’s executive orders and Essex County policies with respect to non-essential gatherings and the conduct of non-essential business. I cannot stress enough how important this is to help fight the pandemic. It is essential that everyone continue.

Unfortunately, there are people who either unintentionally or intentionally refuse to adhere to these mandates.

The rules are:

1. Under no circumstances are there to be non-essential gatherings of any amount of people for any reason at any time.

2. All non-essential businesses are to cease doing business and to send 100% of their employees home. Definition of non-essential businesses can be found at the Empire State Development website.

Social distancing does not apply in these situations. It does not trump these rules.

Essex County is taking a zero-tolerance stance with respect to violators and has been issuing warnings and citations. You need to know that we will not permit violations.

Violators will either be given a warning or a citation. Violations can include jail time and/or fines. Fines for non-essential business conduct can be as much as $10,000.

Prohibited gatherings include parades, birthday parties except immediate relatives, parties, social gatherings, group hiking and congregating at trailheads, group bicycle rides, group motorcycle rides, group horseback riding, team sports, group recreational activities and loitering by groups of any size.

If anyone knows of a violator, please contact New York state at 1-833-789-0470 (online: https://mylicense.custhelp.com/app/ask) and Essex County Attorney Daniel Manning at 518-536-1715.

We will provide more information as the situation evolves.

On behalf of Essex County, I wish you all well and appreciate all your efforts to keep us all safe.


Shaun Gillilland, chair

Essex County Board of Supervisors