Poloncarz: Erie County nearing CDC threshold for return of indoor mask-wearing


ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared updated COVID-19 statistics Wednesday indicating that the county is close to meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designation for “Substantial Risk of Transmission.” He says if that benchmark is met, all county employees and visitors inside county buildings will be required to wear facemasks.

Poloncarz adds that if that CDC benchmark is reached, county employees “must wear a mask while working inside at any off-site non-county owned building regardless of vaccination status. The only exception will be if an employee is working at his or her desk or workspace area and/or can safely socially distance from others.”

He says masks will be required indoors countywide if cases and hospitalizations go up significantly.

Poloncarz tweeted that as of Wednesday, the county had reached 44 new cases per 100,000 residents for the previous seven days. If the county reaches 50 new cases per 100,000 residents, it will move into the “Substantial Risk of Transmission” category.

Per CDC guidance, if a locale enters the “Substantial Risk of Transmission” category, they recommend that fully vaccinated people wear face masks in public indoor settings. They also continue to recommend that unvaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoor settings.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

“Among strategies to prevent COVID-19, CDC recommends all unvaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings. Based on emerging evidence on the Delta variant (2), CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission,” according to the CDC website.

Read the full statement from Erie County Executive Poloncarz below:

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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