ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. --- The state's mask mandate has been in effect for about a month now. Oneida County on Tuesday announced an Executive Order that will enforce that.
The County Health Department will be issuing the order.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said that the order was drafted on Tuesday and will take effect on Friday, May 1st.
The order states that retail stores across the county will need to make sure people's faces are covered before entering. If they fail to do so, the store would receive a class A misdemeanor of violating a public health order. The fine that would go with that charge would be $2,000.
Some retail stores that are open already have signs at the front of the door telling people they need to wear a mask. Some Walmart stores in Oneida County have employees placed at the door making sure people are wearing masks.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said in his briefing on Tuesday that they will be enforcing this on a case by case basis. What that means is they will find out who is not compliant through complaint calls.
"We will take it on a case by case basis. We are hoping that this order will tighten up that message quite a bit. Obviously there are a great many establishments like there are a great many restaurants and such. So we will take it on a case by case basis," said Picente.
Picente said the reason the county is now issuing the enforcement order is that too many people are not abiding by the state's mandate.
The community feedback on the county's enforcement order has been positive. Most of the people that spoke to NEWSChannel 2 are in favor of the county's enforcement order.
The state gave Oneida County about 50,000 masks to distribute throughout the county. But in order to comply with the order, the county said it doesn't have to be a mask. Anything that covers your face is acceptable.