New NYS Indoor Mask Mandate and More

Dear Quogue Residents,
Most of you probably heard that Governor Kathy Hochul announced last Friday that effective today
(Monday, December 13) masks are required to be worn in all indoor public places unless the business or
venue implements a “vaccine requirement.” This policy applies to any publicly or privately owned
indoor space that is not a private residence—offices, stores, restaurants, post offices and all
others. Exceptions to the mask requirement exist for persons in a restaurant or bar who are “actively”
or “physically” eating or drinking (figure that out) and for individuals alone in an enclosed room. If the
masking requirement pertains (i.e. the place has not implemented a vaccine requirement), it applies to
everyone in the space over age 2 and able to tolerate a mask irrespective of vaccination status. If a
business or other venue chooses to implement a vaccine requirement, it must require proof of “full
vaccination” (I think we know what that means by now; boosters are not part of that definition) for
persons age 12 and older and a single dose for children ages 5 to 11. The new requirements will be
enforced by local Departments of Health (Suffolk County in our case), and violations by individuals or
businesses can result in civil fines of up to $1,000. The policy applies until January 15, 2022, but I am
pretty sure we will hear more about it before then. You can read more about the Governor’s
announcement and the surge in cases and hospitalizations that prompted it
If you have been in town, you have noticed that Jessup Avenue was fully opened and repaved just
before Thanksgiving. The contractor, South Fork Asphalt, will do a little more this month, and the
Highway Department intends to line diagonal parking spaces on the east side of the street, which should
eliminate the fairly randomized mix of parallel and diagonal parking that presently exists. The final coat
of asphalt and lining of the street will be accomplished in the spring. At that point, all the covers of the
drainage structures (primarily) and the curb structures will be flush with the street.
As we continue with the holiday season, please remember to patronize liberally our merchants in
Quogue. In addition to some of the obvious necessities of life (coffee, food and some alcoholic
beverages), there are many great gift ideas for young and old alike available in our stores. Avoid the
malls and crowds (see the first paragraph above), and shop local. You know that you want the stores
here to thrive, and so please use them.
Enjoy the rest of the holiday season, and make sure that you wear those masks to make it more likely
that you can do that.
Peter Sartorius