WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sam Hall made a statement on Tuesday in response to New York State’s recent mandate that masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces that do not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry. Washington County says they lack the resources to hold that mandate up at a county level.
“As Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, I know first hand all of our Washington County, NY Public Health Department resources are currently committed in the response to COVID-19 relative to case investigations and vaccinations (and the many other Public Health functions they perform for our communities),” said Hall in a release. “Our Public Health team does not have the resources or personnel to re-allocate from their critical duties they are currently tasked with to conduct enforcement actions relative to the state’s newly issued requirements.”
Washington County is a large county with a variety of small towns, separated by farmland and wilderness in many areas. Vaccination clinics have been held at a variety of community centers and events in the county over the last year.
The mandate, from the office of New York Governor Kathy Hochul, gives indoor businesses and event centers a choice; either require proof of vaccination from everyone who comes through the door, or require everyone to wear a mask again. Late Monday, Saratoga County made a similar statement to their neighbor, with Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore Kusnierz, Jr. stating that Saratoga County is utilizing all expendable resources to get booster shots to the community.
Individual businesses can still choose to implement the mandate of their own volition. In his statement, Hall encouraged those who do to be treated fairly.
“We encourage everyone in our communities to be responsible, courteous, and understanding to our business owners and community organizations relative to the state requirement, they are doing as directed and taking measures to keep our businesses and organizations operating and open to the public in as safe and healthy a manner as possible,” Hall said.