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Cayuga County says it will enforce Hochul’s statewide mask request

Unlike most other counties in the region, Cayuga County officials say they will enforce Governor Kathy Hochul’s statewide mask request.

The policy, which has repeatedly been called a mandate, despite there being no enforcement at the state-level, and an option for localities to opt-out, has drawn heavy criticism from several counties in the Finger Lakes.

Their concerns involve enforcement and not having the staff to do it fairly or effectively.

“The requirement was put in place to reduce the increasing number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 observed across the state,” said Legislature Chair Aileen McNabb-Coleman.

The rate of vaccination sits at 55% in Cayuga County right now. Officials said vaccination rates were lowest among adults 18-34 and kids aged 5-17.

McNabb-Coleman says the county Health Department will follow up with complaints before using an education and outreach approach. She also said that individuals should comply with requirements set out by local businesses.

“Our local businesses have been through enough, and it’s not their fault that this mandate has been activated,” McNabb-Coleman added.


RELATED: What are other counties doing about Hochul’s mask ‘mandate’?