This past Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz along with Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale Burstein, announced a new mask mandate for Erie County that went into effect on Tuesday morning.

The mandate is in response to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and is part of a four-phase process that includes vaccine mandates in phase two, capacity restrictions in phase three, and shutdowns in phase four. Poloncarz says the county will review the order on December 13th.

The mask mandate has been met with mixed reviews in Western New York, and one Erie County town supervisor says his town will not comply with the mask mandate put in place by Poloncarz.

Marilla supervisor Earl Gingerich Jr. says that his town will not comply with the mandate, according to WIVB.

Gingerich says they will continue to defend the rights of their businesses and residents to make their own decisions.

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That led to the press secretary for Poloncarz, Peter Anderson, to issue a statement in response to Gingerich's decision for the Town of Marilla.

“It’s a shame when an elected official values political posturing over protecting the health and safety of their constituents. Earlier today we heard from a Marilla business owner who said that he and other business owners were never consulted before this announcement was made, and they plan to comply with the mask mandate and not be grouped into whatever the Supervisor is doing."

On Saturday, West Seneca Supervisor Gary Dickson issued a long statement that called on Poloncarz and the county to end the state of emergency and draft up a new COVID response plan.

Dickson says that COVID-19 will be with us "for a long time" and it's best to increase hospital capacity and that mask and vaccine mandates are "counterproductive" and abusive to residents' rights.

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