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Beginning Tuesday, Erie County will enforce a mask mandate for all public indoor locations

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced today that a mask mandate will be enforced beginning Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 6 a.m.

Anyone in an indoor area open to the public will be required to wear a mask.

This decision was made after a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in Erie County.

Poloncarz said this is just one phase of a four part plan, and he hopes the county can refrain from reaching the other phases, according to WIVB Channel 4.

The hope is for the mask use to decrease the rate of transmission, resulting in fewer cases and hospitalizations. If that does not happen, that means the other phases will go into effect.

Phase two is requiring vaccinations, phase three is restricting capacity again, and phase four is shutting down.

On a week to week basis the positivity rate has increased 22%, and in four weeks has doubled.

The data will be reviewed Dec. 13 when the decision on whether to enforce phase two will be made.

If phase two goes into effect, vaccination cards will be required in public places like bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Nursing home rates remain low but community spread is high. Hospitals are near or close to capacity.

Districts are in favor of keeping in-person learning due to the rate of transmission appearing to happen outside of the schools.