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Niagara County not implementing any COVID-19 mandates at this time

Niagara County Chairman Becky Wydysh released a statement following Erie County's announcement of a new mask mandate.
Credit: Pavel Kašák - stock.adobe.com

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Following the announcement earlier on Monday that Erie County will be implementing a mask mandate for public spaces at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, the Niagara County Chairman Becky Wydysh clarified that Niagara County will not be implementing any mandates at this time.

Here is the full statement:

“While we are certainly concerned about rising COVID-19 numbers in Niagara County, we are not implementing any mandates at this time.  First, unlike Erie County, Niagara County is not under a state of emergency and has not been for months.  This means any decision on new COVID-19 restrictions would require a vote by the Legislature in consultation with our Director of Public Health.

“I can say safely say that at this time, a majority of the Legislature does not support any such mandates.  We believe businesses, employers and other institutions across Niagara County should implement the safety protocols that make sense for their particular operations.  

“We also have been saying for months, even when our county’s numbers were lowest in the state, that opening schools and reengaging in many public activities would lead to increased positives cases.  We believe the best step that could be taken right now is for New York State to re-establish a free testing facility in Niagara County so people have easy access to testing and those positive can be isolated.

“Our Public Health Director has been clear that people should keep social distance, wear masks and above all else get vaccinated, including booster shots.  That is where the focus must be so people can enjoy their holidays and we can avoid a holiday surge.”