CAZENOVIA, N.Y. (WSYR) — For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck Central New York, the Madison County Health Department has fined two business owners for not following the mask mandate put in place by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
One of those businesses is Troyers Country Store on Route 23 in Cazenovia. They’re facing a $500 fine after reports of seeing the employees there not wearing masks while interacting with the public.
“I’ll be honest with you, we don’t like it,” said Mervin Troyer, whose family owns Troyer’s Country Store.
The Troyer family has made it clear since the start of the pandemic that they will not be wearing masks at their store. They even have a sign on their door that says the owner has a medical condition, won’t be wearing a mask, and customers should enter at their own risk.
“We feel that if somebody is not comfortable, then they should just not come here,” Troyer said.
But last week, an inspector for the Madison County Health Department cited the Troyers for not wearing their masks.
“We finally gave in to wearing these shields, which we can actually breathe with them. I don’t think they’re harmful to our health, so. But we, we’re not, we don’t really feel that we should enforce the public,” Troyer said.
Samantha Field, the Public Information Officer for Madison County, responded with the following statement.
“Executive Orders are passed down by Governor Cuomo. They are laws as long as they are extended. We understand that many people may not like it but the local health departments and local governments have been told by Governor Cuomo that they must enforce his executive orders. Local governments can face fines themselves if they do not enforce the COVID-19 regulations. We do not want to fine our businesses, this is why we try to educate first, reminding our businesses that employees who are in close contact with the public should be wearing face coverings.”Samantha Field, Public Information Officer, Madison County
Mervin Troyer said though he doesn’t like wearing a face shield, he wants customers to feel safe.
“They have to do what they have to do but I think, you know, it’s the proper thing to do,” Diane Balch, a customer at Troyer’s.
Cone Masters in Munnsville was also cited for not following the executive order. If either business violates the order again, they could see steeper fines.