11.22.21 COVID-19 Bulletin: Poloncarz Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate
November 22, 2021
This afternoon, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced he will mandate the wearing of face coverings in all indoor public places, including private businesses. This includes bars, restaurants, stores, theaters, barbershops, salons, gyms, entertainment and sports venues, hotels, banks, and all other places open to the public.
This mandate takes effect tomorrow (Tuesday, November 23) at 6:00 am. The mandate applies in all municipalities within Erie County, and to all individuals regardless of vaccination status. Businesses not complying with the mandate can face penalties as they had earlier in the pandemic, Poloncarz said.
Poloncarz cited rising numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the decision. He indicated this policy may be relaxed if COVID cases and hospitalization numbers improve.
Poloncarz called the mask mandate the first of a four-phase approach. The second phase would be a vaccine mandate for all indoor spaces; the third would be capacity restrictions, and the fourth would be shutdowns. Poloncarz said he does not want to advance to these additional phases, but will do so if the COVID-19 situation does not improve. He will assess the county’s progress on December 13 and evaluate whether to move to a more restrictive phase.
The County Executive’s full announcement is available here.
BNP leadership has been in ongoing discussions with the County Executive and remains hopeful that increased caution will prevent future mandates that would hinder our regional economy.
The BNP will continue to advocate for actions that keep our economy open and working.
Worldwide, companies throughout every business sector are dealing with significant supply chain challenges. The Buffalo Niagara region is certainly no exception. Increased costs, labor shortages, logistical breakdowns, and a host of other issues are impacting all aspects of the economy from manufacturer to customer.
Last night, New York voters selected party nominees for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Erie County Clerk.
Primaries for U.S. House and State Senate seats will be held on August 23. No Assembly candidates in Erie or Niagara counties faced primaries.
In the next few months, prepare to receive a much higher bill for unemployment insurance (UI). The BNP spent over a year warning state leaders that this was coming. The state failed to act, and now, the chickens are coming home to roost.
One set of primary elections will take place on Tuesday, June 28. Early voting is open now. Look up your polling place and sample ballot here: (Erie County) (Niagara County). Note that primary elections are only open to voters registered in that party.