Wyoming County to let businesses decide COVID-19 protocol, won’t enforce NY mask mandate


WARSAW, N.Y. (WROC) — Wyoming County will let businesses decide what COVID-19 protocols to implement and won’t enforce the state’s new mask mandate for indoor public places.

This was announced Wednesday by the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors who said in part: “While vaccinations and the use of masks are strongly encouraged, businesses and public venues should determine what is in the best interest of their operations in light of the mask mandate, current infection rates, and the NYS HERO Act, which i already a part of their business safety plan.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the new COVID-19 measure Friday and it went into effect Monday. It requires all indoor businesses and venues to require customers to wear masks, or require proof of vaccination for entry.

The measure, put into effect because of rising COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations statewide, is in effect until January 15, 2022, after which the state will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

A violation of any provision of this measure is subject to all civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. According to the governor, the respective business would face the fine for a violation, not an individual for not wearing a mask.

Local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements, officials from the governor’s office say. Several counties, including Livingston, and Ontario locally, have announced they would not enforce the mask mandate. Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said Tuesday that Monroe would enforce the mandate, and some counties, like Erie in Western New York, implemented an indoor mask mandate before the state intervened.

A state of emergency was declared in Wyoming County on December 1 due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“The seven-day average positivity for Wyoming County as of December 13, 2021 is 10.2%,” the Board of Supervisors wrote. “The county’s vaccination rate stands at 54.2% of the total population, representing 62.5% of residents 18 years and older having at least one dose. Last week 87.5% of hospitalized COVID patients, including those in the ICU, were unvaccinated.”

Full statement

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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