Niagara County becomes area of “high” transmission; masks required in county buildings

Niagara County

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Niagara County is now requiring masks in county buildings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

This change, which affects employees and visitors, comes after the county recently became what the CDC refers to as an area of “high” community transmission. That means that the county has found 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

“We are taking this step to protect both employees and the public,” Niagara County Legislature Chair Becky Wydysh says. “Employees can remove their masks when working at their desks, provided they can maintain proper social distancing.”

Even though the new policy only applies to county buildings, Wydysh is encouraging organizations across the county to enact mask policies.

“We will continue to review this policy based on the data and amend it as necessary,” Wydysh says. “Our hope is that we will see a decline in cases sooner rather than later.”

She also encouraged people to get vaccinated as a protective measure against the virus, calling it “the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate hospitalizations and death in those who do test positive.”

“We strongly encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to please consider doing so in the interest of your health and all those around you,” she said.

According to the CDC, most New York counties are areas of high transmission. Locally, Wyoming County is the only one that is only considered an area of “substantial” transmission.

MORE | Erie County returns to CDC’s “high risk” category of COVID-19 transmission

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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