In a special session Thursday, the Cayuga County Board of Health voted to take no action in the wake of a County Legislature vote on New Year’s Day not to enforce what Governor Kathy Hochul has called a mask mandate.
The Citizen reports the County Board of Health is awaiting further guidance, because County Attorney Chris Palermo says, based on his interpretation of state law, county boards of health must enforce the mandate, which calls for penalties of up to $1,000 for businesses who allow customers to violate it, but leaves enforcement up to health departments.
Related: Cayuga County Legislature votes not to enforce state mask mandate, but what does the vote mean?
Dr. Cassandra Archer, an Auburn pediatrician and health board member, said she was “extraordinarily disheartened by the Legislature’s actions.” Board of Health member Dr. Brian Brundage believes the board should not have even addressed the issue, since the Legislature has taken no formal action on the mandate. Keith Batman, chair of the Board of Health and a former county lawmaker himself, also wants to avoid any political confrontation with the legislature.
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