Local leaders are still waiting for mask wearing guidance from the state


(WIVB) — Leaders at the local level are still waiting for guidance from New York State.

As is often the case, it sometimes takes a few days before the New York State Health Department actually falls in line with what the CDC puts out, so for now the simple answer is go by the same rules that existed yesterday.

“I have not heard anything new today other than word from the governors office that they were doing an expeditious review. I have not heard when that is going to be completed. I am hopeful it’s very soon so that everybody knows what the ground rules are.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz expects something to come down by early next week at the latest. So for now all county health departments see the rules are status quo.

Cattaraugus County’s Health Director says it was a pleasant surprise to hear the new CDC guidance but he’s wondering what a lot of people are how can anyone tell who is vaccinated and who’s not?

Dr. Kevin Watkins, Cattaraugus County Health Director, says, “you know, I had a conversation today with some of my colleagues and the first thing they say is how do I know if a person has been vaccinated, we’re not walking around with a big V on our chest. It is concerning. One good thing that comes out of this is from the CDC guidance, those who have been vaccinated should feel protected against others who may not have been vaccinated.”

“Next week, I’ll be going to the smaller communities, Barker, Wilson, then LewPort, then Newfane and then Harry Abbott in Niagara Falls on the 9th. So between now and the 9th, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to go. People have the opportunity they just need to take advantage of it,” Niagara County Public Health Director Dan Stapleton added.

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