ONEONTA, NY – Last November, the Oneonta Common Council passed an ordinance stating that masks must be worn at all times in public spaces in downtown Oneonta and whenever social distancing was not possible due to the covid-19 pandemic. The ordinance basically followed New York State’s own guidelines.
As more and more people are being vaccinated and the number of positive covid cases are dropping, is that ordinance still necessary?
Members of Oneonta's Common Council Legislative Committee took up that question at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday. evening
“New York State has adopted new CDC guidelines," said Mayor Gary Herzig. Adding that "masks are only required outdoors by those who can’t social distance and are not vaccinated.”
3rd Ward Councilperson David Rissberger said he would be "in favor of removing the (mask) requirement, but then what do we do about parades?”
Mayor Herzig pointed out that the new State guidelines have exceptions for large gatherings so people attending parades would still need to wear a mask.
City Attorney Dave Merzig recommended that the committee draft a new ordinance if they want to change things and present those changes to the full common council at their next meeting.