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NY Sheriffs: No Need to Hide Your Cars on Thanksgiving

Many publicly state they won't enforce the state's cap on holiday dinner
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2020 9:06 AM CST

(Newser) – If you're a New Yorker who is worried that your Thanksgiving head count could get you in trouble, a number of sheriffs are suggesting you be more concerned about getting the lumps out of your gravy. While the state is currently under an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that limits indoor and outdoor gatherings at family homes to 10 guests to hinder the spread of COVID, sheriffs in counties including Rensselaer, Erie, and Saratoga are coming out to publicly say they have no plans to count cars in driveways or do any other form of enforcing, with the New York Times quoting one upstate sheriff as saying his office would never muck with "the great tradition of Thanksgiving dinner." Another announced that going home to home "to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority." Officials in New York City expressed they had better things to do, too.

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Sheriff Richard Giardino of Fulton County, northwest of Albany, stated on Facebook that residents don't even need to try to hide their violation of the order: "Monitoring family dinners [isn't] our priority. Don’t feel a need to hide cars, cover with leaves or walk 3 blocks so your house doesn’t become a target of the Governors EO," he wrote. The same doesn't appear to be true on Long Island, where the Suffolk County PD said they were ramping up holiday staffing so that they could respond to complaints that are called in. As for what would happen if a Thanksgiving dinner is busted, Giardino tells CNN the executive order doesn't allow for fines or arrests; the event would simply be broken up. As for Cuomo's stance, NBC News reports he had this to say when announcing the order: "The rules are only as good as the enforcement. Local governments are in charge of enforcement." (Read more Thanksgiving stories.)

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