County Administrator Chris DeBolt issued the following statement today regarding Governor Kathy Hochul’s vaccine or mask mandate that went into effect this morning:
Ontario County is still working to fully understand the enforcement obligations, mechanisms and impacts contained in the Governor’s vaccine or mask mandate that went into effect at 10am this morning for all establishments that are not private residences.
Ontario County continues to urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated, get boosted and mask up when in public settings. The County also lacks the staff necessary to enforce a mandate of this kind across the county.
Given our limited resources, and the toll the pandemic has already taken on our Public Health staff, we need to focus our limited resources on the most efficient and impactful public health intervention strategies. For Ontario County, that includes continuing vaccine and booster distribution, facilitating testing in schools to keep children in the classroom, and conducting case investigations and cluster and outbreak management protocols.
The Finger Lakes region is experiencing a large surge in COVID cases, hospitalizations, and an alarming increase in deaths. We urge every eligible resident to get vaccinated or boosted. In addition, please mask when in public settings to help protect others and keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season. Our beleaguered healthcare staff need our community’s help to slow the increase in cases and hospitalizations before our hospital systems are overwhelmed.