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Lewis County Clarifies Indoor Masking Policy

 

Published: December 16, 2021 at 05:30 p.m.

By: Press Release from Lewis County Board of Legislators

 

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Lewis County Clarifies Indoor Masking Policy

 

Lowville, NY – As a community with a low rate of vaccination and a high rate of transmission, Lewis County’s limited healthcare resources could easily be overwhelmed by a spike in COVID-19 cases.

 

Last year, the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community reached an all-time high after the holidays. If the same trend continues in 2022, it is likely elective surgeries will be canceled, and our health system will be unable to provide inpatient care to County residents who require it.

 

Wearing masks in public venues is a proven strategy to reduce the risk of transmission in our community. Masks are inconvenient and uncomfortable, but they are a small sacrifice to protect those in our community who are especially susceptible to severe illness from the COVID-19 virus.

 

Lewis County supports and applauds any business or public venue that wishes to require masks or encourage employees and patrons to get vaccinated.

 

Businesses that choose not to implement a mask requirement subject themselves to scrutiny from their jurisdictional state licensing agencies. Despite several rounds of State-implemented pandemic regulations, Lewis County has yet to fine a business in our community for noncompliance, and instead has opted to contact businesses to urge compliance.

 

The County does not patrol for, nor police, mask violations, nor do we wish to penalize local businesses with fines. Lewis County, however, reserves the right to refer businesses or organizations that display blatant disregard for public safety to the appropriate state licensing agency.

 

Vaccination remains the most effective way to combat COVID-19 in our community. Vaccine clinic information and registration can be found on the County’s website, https://www.lewiscounty.org/vaccine-registration.

 

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