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Ontario County says it doesn’t have the staff to enforce Hochul’s mask mandate

Ontario County Administrator Chris DeBolt says leaders there are still working through the details of New York’s newly-minted ‘mask mandate’, but after a confusing press conference from Governor Kathy Hochul on Monday, new messaging makes it clear that enforcement is going to be hit-or-miss in most communities.

“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 10 a.m. this morning,” DeBolt wrote in a statement issued during the afternoon hours. “Ontario County continues to urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated, get boosted, and mask up when in public settings.”

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

However, staffing is a major roadblock for Ontario County.

“[Ontario] County also lacks the staff necessary to enforce a mandate of this kind across the county,” DeBolt continued. “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.”

Earlier in the day Livingston County said they would not enforce Hochul’s mask mandate, joining a growing list of Upstate counties.

RELATED: When is a mandate not a mandate? Hochul says counties free to ignore mask “mandate”