Statement from Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh

“The CDC considers any county with a benchmark of 100 COVID-19 positive cases per 100,000 residents to be an area of high transmission.   Niagara County has been one step below that in the substantial transmission category for the last several weeks but unfortunately, today crossed into the high transmission level.

“After consulting with the Niagara County Health Department and our Public Health Director, Dan Stapleton, we have decided to implement a mandatory mask policy in all county buildings for both employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.  We are taking this step to protect both employees and the public.  Employees can remove their masks when working at their desks, provided they can maintain proper social distancing.

“The policy only applies to county buildings.  But we do encourage all organizations across the county to consider whether a mask policy makes sense for their operations.  We will continue to review this policy based on the data and amend it as necessary.  Our hope is that we will see a decline in cases sooner rather than later. 

“We also know that vaccines are the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate hospitalizations and death in those who do test positive.  So, 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.”