Monday, December 11, 2023

No to garage sales

Chronicle managing editor Cathy DeDe writes: Garage, lawn and tag sales are prohibited under Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions against public gatherings.

“It’s a little hard,” says Roger Wickes, the attorney and coronavirus spokesman for the Washington County Board. “The governor makes a proclamation but doesn’t provide us with specifics or means of enforcement.”

So, Mr. Wickes says, with garage sale notices popping up as early as last weekend, the County Board considered and determined these constitute public gatherings.

“The trouble is people touching objects, coming from different places, congregating. Even if you have one person at a time, they pick up something, put it down. It’s the kind of surface the virus lasts on, then someone else picks it up and brings it to their house, where there are other people who will touch it….The point of the restriction is to get folks not to do that,” he said.

Mr. Wickes notes, “Is there an actual law or guidance on this from the State of New York? Will we be driving around looking for people having garage sales?”

He answers, “It’s like large birthday parties, we are telling people. You don’t do it. Stay in your own house, settle into your place of isolation, your fortress of solitude, in superhero terms. Then we can get back to a more normal semblance sooner.”

He said the county will not be seeking out offenders, but the state has set up a hotline for the public to report gatherings they believe violate stay at home measures, and the county is required to follow up.

“We’d like to avoid getting those calls.”

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