If NYS drops mask mandate, Erie County will, too

If NYS drops masks mandate, Erie County will, too

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BUFFALO, NY (MB) – No matter occurs Wednesday concerning masks, Erie County plans to comply with go well with.

Erie County Govt Mark Poloncarz made this announcement on Tuesday afternoon, in the future earlier than Gov. Kathy Hochul is anticipated to subject an vital replace on the state’s present masks mandate.

“The almost two-year struggle in opposition to COVID-19 and its variants has been troublesome and protracted however it seems higher days are forward because the Omicron variant wave is coming to an finish,” Poloncarz says.

Proper now, the mandate for indoor masking in public locations is ready to final till Thursday, however it may very well be prolonged.

Since November, Erie County has had its personal emergency order requiring masks in place, too.

“If the Governor rescinds the statewide mandate on masks, Erie County will comply with go well with and my emergency order issued on November 23, 2021 requiring masking in public services will likely be allowed to lapse and Dr. Burstein’s Commissioner’s order on the identical will likely be rescinded in alignment with the state’s place,” Poloncarz says. “If the governor ought to proceed her statewide masks requirement, we will comply with go well with and proceed our requirement for consistency with the state’s guidelines.”

However this doesn’t suggest the present coverage for county-owned services, which requires masks for workers and company, will finish, too, if the state mandate is dropped.

That mandate has been in impact since July 29. Poloncarz says that if the state mandate ends, the coverage for county-owned services will proceed by way of the top of February.

At that time, a call about whether or not or to not maintain it in place will likely be made based mostly on COVID-19 transmission charges within the county.

Learn Poloncarz’s full assertion under:

“The almost two-year struggle in opposition to COVID-19 and its variants has been troublesome and protracted however it seems higher days are forward because the Omicron variant wave is coming to an finish. Once I issued my Emergency Order on November 23, 2021 requiring masking in services open to the general public, new Delta variant COVID case charges have been skyrocketing and our hospitals had lower than ten % complete mattress capability out there.

As we speak, fortunately, new infections have dropped tremendously and hospital mattress capability charges have stabilized, there being almost twenty % of all hospital beds within the county out there at present. Whereas these are constructive and inspiring indicators, a cautious, fact-based method has all the time been most prudent and we’ll stay vigilant whereas monitoring this information in days and weeks to come back.

With this in thoughts, Erie County is ready to comply with the lead of Governor Hochul as she updates the general public on New York State’s stance on masking in tomorrow’s announcement. If the Governor rescinds the statewide mandate on masks, Erie County will comply with go well with and my Emergency Order issued on November 23, 2021 requiring masking in public services will likely be allowed to lapse and Dr. Burstein’s Commissioner’s Order on the identical will likely be rescinded in alignment with the state’s place. If the governor ought to proceed her statewide masks requirement, we will comply with go well with and proceed our requirement for consistency with the state’s guidelines.

Lastly, if the governor ought to rescind her statewide mandate on masks, in an effort to guarantee a secure working setting for county staff and our company, the Emergency Order issued by me on July 29, 2021 requiring masks to be worn by all staff and company in county-owned services shall be continued by way of the top of the month of February, at which era we’ll rethink the necessity for such requirement based mostly on the then designation of whether or not the county is at a low, average, substantial or excessive threat of COVID transmission , as these phrases are outlined by the CDC.”

Erie County Govt Mark Poloncarz

For faculties, the present masks mandate expiration date is not till a pair weeks away — February 21. A lot of native college leaders hope it’s actually over then.

Just lately, the Erie-Niagara College Superintendents Affiliation (E-NSSA) despatched a letter to Gov. Hochul, asking for the mandate to finish on its present expiration date.

Hamburg Superintendent Michael Cornell, who serves as E-NSSA’s president, says “What we hear from the parents in our communities is that it is time for masking to be a alternative.”

As of Monday, Erie County’s seven-day common fee of positivity was 8.4 %. Western New York as a complete had a mean of 8.6 %.

MORE | Study extra concerning the variants of COVID-19 right here.

Evan Anstey is an Related Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been a part of the Minus Better staff since 2015. See extra of his work right here and comply with him on Twitter.