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Mr. Azzopardi added that the governor’s office expected most New Yorkers to comply with the order, as they had with previous restrictions. Widespread compliance rather than enforcement was the key to any of the state’s rules being effective, he said.

“I think New Yorkers get the message,” he said. “It’s common sense.”

Still, Sheriff Apple of Albany County said he worried that the mounting backlash among the state’s sheriffs might encourage residents to further flout pandemic rules and regulations.

“I would have much preferred they said nothing,” he said of other sheriffs. “Because there’s nothing wrong with people fearful of the police coming to your house if that’s what’s going to keep you from having 30 people over at a super-spreader event.”

In New York City, officials also said they were counting on residents to comply with the cap on private gatherings. “When it comes down to individual families, we’re not going to enforce on family gatherings,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “We will on bigger gatherings.”

The police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, said in a television interview that the Police Department was “not planning on breaking up Thanksgiving celebrations.” (The department has not taken the lead in enforcing virus-related restrictions in the city since May after accusations of racial bias in enforcement.)

Joseph Fucito, the city’s sheriff, said his office would be more focused on large-scale events and businesses.

On Long Island, the Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement that it would enforce the governor’s restrictions. The county executive, Steve Bellone, said there would be extra police patrols on the holiday.

“The public, they do alert the police to places where there are large gatherings happening,” Mr. Bellone, a Democrat, said. “And we will be responding.”

Jeffery C. Mays contributed reporting.

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