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Mask mandate in effect again in Erie County

Posted at 12:42 AM, Nov 24, 2021

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — “I was surprised. I didn't think this was going to happen,” said Kevin Beckwith the owner of Gear for Adventure.

A mask mandate is back in effect for Erie County. It’s aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping hospitals from over-crowding.

At Gear for Adventure in Hamburg, the first day of masking was uneventful.

“We just had two people come in without a mask and they went and got one and there was no big issue,” added Beckwith.

Down the road at Flicker, a candle and gift shop, it was similarly an uneventful first day of the mask mandate.

“One person kind of walked in today and did not realize it. It's like, we're very forgiving. I have masks if they want one,” said Diana Hamilton, one of the owners of Flicker. Earlier on Tuesday, she forgot her mask too.

“My husband and I went out for lunch today and I walked into the restaurant and kind of did a ‘whoopsie,’ you know? I had to run back out to the car. So, it's like, getting in the groove again with wearing the mask,” added Hamilton.

On day one of the mask mandate in Erie County there is no tally on complaints filed against businesses. But, a spokesperson with the county health department said:

"Our public health sanitarians are providing educational outreach to facilities to inform them of the requirements."

For small businesses, the end of November and beginning of December is go time. The hope is a mask mandate doesn't slow down the rush. And with the potential for more protocols by the county, these business owners are paying attention.

“We'll do what we have to do,” said Beckwith. “There's no two ways around it.”