Governor Andrew Cuomo is directing New York state residents to wear a mask or other cloth covering in situations where proper social distancing isn't possible.

Cuomo announced Wednesday afternoon that he will issue an executive order requiring people to cover their mouths and noses in crowded public areas. He said the rule to help control the spread of coronavirus would go into effect in three days.

The governor said the facial coverings should be worn on public transit and in situations where people are unable to stay at least six feet apart.

Cuomo said he's not calling for fines for people who don't cover up but he indicated civil penalties could be implemented if there's widespread noncompliance.

The governor said he expects local governments to enforce the order and he'd expect people to encourage others to wear a mask where it's appropriate.

Cuomo said the state's official total coronavirus death toll had increased to 11,586. He said 752 people died of COVID-19 in New York on Tuesday.

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