Just hours after New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new mask mandate will go into effect this Monday for the entire state, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz responded with his thoughts in a press release.

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Erie County was the only county in Western New York to issue a mask mandate where if you were out in public indoors you needed to wear a mask.

New York State has adopted pretty much the same outline for its statewide mandate and Poloncarz praised the governor for making the move to help keep the spread of COVID-19 down.

I commend Governor Hochul for following Erie County's lead and implementing a statewide mask requirement for all indoor public locations, or, alternatively, permitting the business to choose to implement a vaccine mandate for all persons entering the premises.

Starting on Monday, all businesses in New York state will need to enforce the mask mandate or implement a vaccine mandate for their customers. Businesses will be allowed to have customers inside without masks if they can make sure that every one of them has been fully vaccinated.

New York City announced earlier this month they are doing their own vaccine mandate for all businesses in the city limits.

As of Monday, New York State businesses will have to enforce the mask mandate or face possible fines. The New York State mask mandate will remain in effect until January 15th and then the state will review COVID-19 cases and see if they will continue with the mandate, lift it, or move to a vaccine mandate for businesses.


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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

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