UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Oneida County is reinstituting a mandatory mask policy for public indoor places effective Monday, December 13th. Masks must be worn inside all public places. This mandate will be in effect until January 10, 2022.
Oneida County executive Anthony Picente made the announcement Thursday morning at a breakfast meeting at the Harts Hill Inn in Whitesboro. Part of Picente’s announcement includes the fact that the new mask policy will be evaluated prior to the January 10th expiration date to see if any changes are warranted.
“Case numbers remain high and our hospitals are at capacity,” Picente said. “We must put more safeguards in place to protect our residents, especially during the increased activity of the holiday season. Combined with increased booster vaccines, these temporary mask and temperature check orders will aid us in reducing the spread of COVID at this busy time of year without placing capacity restrictions on businesses, organizations and events.”
The mask mandate pertains only to public indoor places; stores, theaters, restaurants and sporting venues. For private indoor events, temperature check and proof of vaccination will suffice.
Oneida County has averaged over 180 new COVIOD positives a day over the past five days. There were also 11 COVID related deaths recorded in the county. Oneida County also reported 2 cases of the Omicron Variant.
Two other counties from the Capitol District, Albany and Schenectady counties, also reinstituted mask mandates earlier this week in the face of rising COVID numbers.