The fight over masks continues in the state of New York after a state supreme court judge rules the governor’s mask mandate as unconstitutional.
Does this mean however that masks are disappearing?
Governor Kathy Hochul enacted a state-wide mask mandate back in December of 2021 during a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
That mask mandate is no longer being enforced after the ruling on January 24th.
We spoke with business owners in New York in Chautauqua County who said that they don’t expect anything to be much different than before.
The New York state-wide mask mandate could be coming to an end after a state supreme court judge ruled it was unconstitutional.
For one Ripley Restaurant, their employees will continued to be asked to wear a mask.
“We believe that their safety and and their health is very important. We have not had a COVID problem in our restaurant and our employees and we want to continue that,” said Bob Bentley, Assistant Manager at Meeder’s Restaurant.
With the changing regulations, Bentley said that he believes restaurants are in a no win situation.
“I say we’re caught in the middle. It’s a 50/50 political environment. Regardless of what we do we have people that object to it. Not just Meeder’s Restaurant, restaurants across the country,” said Bentley.
Here at Our Own Candle Company in Findley Lake, there’s room to spread out. The president told us that they have not had any issues enforcing a mask mandate.
“We’re not going to have our cashiers and employees be bouncers at the door. So we’ve told everybody just use common sense in the stores. Most of our customers have done all the way through. We haven’t really had any major issues with people wearing a mask or not wearing a mask,” said Larry Gross, President of Our Own Candle Company.
If there is another big surge in the state, customers will be asked to wear a mask in the store.
“We’ll post our sign to ask our customers to wear them, but there’s not going to be any sign saying that you’re not allowed in here without a mask. We’re just not doing that because I just don’t think that we can afford it. That’s not our job,” said Gross.
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The New York State Education Department position on schools is that they should continue to follow the mask mandate.