The maximum penalty for ignoring the coronavirus distancing rules in New York state is being doubled from $500 to $1,000.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the action Monday as he expressed growing frustration over the number of people who are disregarding the state-mandated regulations.

Cuomo said the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York state had risen to 4,758. That included 599 people who died in the previous 24 hours.

The governor repeated his call for New Yorkers to stay home as much as possible. He said "the level of activity is up" but "now is not the time to be lax." He said social distancing efforts appear to have helped slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cuomo called on local governments to enforce the distancing rules more aggressively.

Although he is increasing the potential top fine, he said it's not about the money. He said: "We want the compliance. We are serious."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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