The state has said it leaves it up to counties to enforce the mask mandate, with some counties refusing to do so. It leaves the discretion of a county to fine a business up to $ 1,000 per violation for non-compliance. In Erie County, Poloncarz and Health Commissioner Dr Gale Burstein said they were trying to uphold the mask’s mandate through education, the distribution of masks to businesses and the broadcast of warnings, which seems sufficient in most cases. Unlike small counties with a limited workforce, Poloncarz said, Erie County tries to get everyone to follow the rules.
“There is a very vocal minority of people who are against masking, but the majority of people understand it,” he said.
He also pointed out that Erie County’s positive test rate remains lower than that of all surrounding counties in western New York state, which he attributed to the success of the local mask tenure. While hospitals in Erie County, overall, are 90% full, he said, some hospitals in other counties in western New York state are so full that they had to transfer patients to other counties and other states.
“We want people to understand that this is a regional problem,” he said.
Burstein said that because the number of positive cases in Erie County is still much higher than usual, contact tracers are no longer following every individual who tests positive. Instead, they prioritize those who are most at risk, including those who may have contracted Covid-19 in homes and those who have tested positive in schools and daycares, she said. declared.