NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — State and local officials strongly recommended, but did not mandate, mask-use in COVID hotspots. However, some businesses, including Niskayuna Co-Op are taking the initiative to ask everyone to wear a mask.
The local grocery store resumed their mask policy for customers this weekend, as their staff there have had to wear face coverings throughout the pandemic.
“The goal of this was to just keep everyone safe,” said Shannon Risley, the store’s general manager.
It comes as the Capital Region continues to see a surge in COVID cases, with Schenectady County one of several regions seeing “substantial” transmission, according to data from the CDC.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation in order to get ahead of it, in order to be proactive rather than reactive,” Risley said.
With this rise in cases, many customers said they’re in favor of the store’s decision.
“I think there’s a lot that’s unknown, and I think it’s important to protect the unprotected. I think it’s a good idea,” said Laurel Burns.
Burns is fully vaccinated but says she has no problem continuing to wear a mask, especially after taking a recent trip to Cape Cod, where hundreds of fully vaccinated people tested positive.
“That gives you cause. I don’t want to get sick, even for a day or two,” she said.
But not everyone was open to the new policy, one person we spoke with off-camera said they would no longer be shopping there. The store’s general manager says the new mask policy will stay in place for the foreseeable future.
“We will continue to monitor this ever-evolving pandemic, it seems to change, sometimes daily, and we will go from there,” Risley said.
While some businesses are reimplementing mask mandates, others across the state will soon pivot to “vaccine-only admission” policies. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that many businesses, including restaurants, gyms, and theaters, will require patrons be vaccinated in September.
The policy will go into effect on August 16th, but enforcement won’t begin until September 13.