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Poloncarz announces metrics necessary to lift mask mandate in Erie County-owned facilities

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Posted at 4:43 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 16:43:10-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Tuesday the metrics necessary to lift the mask mandate that is in place for Erie County-owned facilities.

On February 8, the county announced it would follow New York State's lead and lift its mask mandate for all public indoor settings but the mandate would remain in place for all employees and guests at county-owned facilities through February. Poloncarz said conditions would then be reviewed to determine if the order could be lifted in March.

Tuesday, Poloncarz announced the metrics necessary to lift the mask mandate in county-owned facilities:

  • the county’s weekly positivity rate is less than 3% and the county’s seven-day case rate has fallen from the CDC’s ‘high’ risk of community transmission category (greater than 100 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days) to the ‘substantial’ risk of community transmission category (50-99.99 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days); or,
  • if the county’s weekly positivity rate does not fall below 3% but the county’s seven-day case rate falls into the ‘moderate’ risk of community transmission category (10-49.99 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days).

According to a release, the county's weekly seven-day positivity rate is 4.0% and the weekly new case rate per 100,000 persons is 105.8. If the rates continue on their current trend, the county says it will likely fall into the ‘substantial’ risk category in the next few days, and less than 3% in the next week.

While lifting this mask mandate would certainly affect Key Bank arena, New York State currently has a test or vaccine mandate that is still in place for facilities with a seating capacity greater than 5,000 and visitors to Key Bank arena should expect to follow the state’s vaccination requirements in order to attend events there. Finally, even should conditions warrant the lifting of the mask mandate in county buildings, the state of emergency that continues to exist in Erie County would remain in effect; its continuation or potential termination will be revisited in early March.
- Poloncarz