Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has announced that masks will no longer be required inside the county's buildings. Now that positive cases of COVID-19 have been decreasing in Erie County and the Centers For Disease Control considers us in the 'medium' category the county is dropping the mandate. Masks will no longer be required starting Monday, February 28, 2022. State-imposed mask requirements are still in place.

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said,

The CDC’s Community Level indicators show that Erie County is on the right track in the fight against the virus, and our own information about COVID-19 in the community corroborates what they are seeing. Cases and hospitalizations are decreasing, which is very encouraging. With this evidence in hand, the mask mandate in Erie County buildings will be lifted as of Monday February 28. We are still closely monitoring the spread of the virus and will take other actions as necessary and when possible.

The 7-day average positivity rate for the Western New York region was 3.46 percent as of Friday, February 25, according to Governor Kathy Hochul's daily report. Erie County had 84 new cases of COVID-19 as of Friday and a total of 205,584 positive cases throughout the pandemic. Erie County reported 2 new deaths on Friday. Erie County has a total of 2,582 residents who have died from the virus.

Munoz Alvarez, Getty Image
Munoz Alvarez, Getty Image

Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said,

With this new way of evaluating COVID-19 risk, the CDC also outlines the community prevention strategies that our department will continue to focus our work. Vaccine clinics, access to testing and support for school testing programs will play a role in further reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission and illness. Though there will be less public emphasis on masks and distancing, people who are most vulnerable to infection - because they are unvaccinated or immunocompromised by age, medical condition, medication or pregnancy - should carefully consider the benefits of wearing a mask and maintaining distance from others in crowded or close spaces. That applies to people who live with, work with or care for those most vulnerable as well.

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