Plattsburgh mayor renews mask mandate in city buildings, urges businesses to do the same

New York

With cases climbing and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control showing Clinton County as an area of high transmission, Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest has reissued a mask mandate for city employees and visitors to city-owned buildings.

Rosenquest is also asking local business owners to consider requiring masks for their employees and patrons.

“This is just an encouragement for businesses to follow that protocol and that protocol is based on the CDC’s recommendation as well as the recommendation of the Clinton County Health Department,” Rosenquest said.

On Monday, the Clinton County Health Department reported 78 active cases of COVID-19 cases, the most since the spring. The Department also reported an additional 100 people are in quarantine after being exposed to someone who tested positive.

Molly Flynn, the department’s public information officer, says the number of breakthrough cases in the county is rising as well. A few weeks ago, more than 40 percent of new cases were among those fully vaccinated.

“We’re seeing large gatherings, we’re seeing work sites, and we’re certainly seeing household spread,” she said. “It’s going through all members of the household.”

Some Plattsburgh businesses have already begun reinstating a mask policy, including a coffee shop run by the Mayor’s wife.

“It’s challenging and frustrating to implement something that we were really happy to let go of, but I would say people have been great about it,” said Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest, owner of Chapter One Coffee & Tea.

Just up the street, Peter Kritziotious, owner of Alekas Greek Restaurant, said he will leave the decision to mask-up to each employee.

“For their own protection, some of these people that are wearing masks right now are mothers with children and newborns or children at home so they don’t want to bring the delta variant back to their house,” he said.

Some Plattsburgh residents agree with the mayor’s stance on indoor masking. 

“Wearing a mask I think is crucial for our family right now especially because we’re starting to see a large jump,” said Brandon Wallburg. “I think it may encourage some businesses to reinforce and enforce those rules and regulations, and I think it might be helpful to the community as well.”

Kristen Larkin, a mother of a 9-year-old girl, says Rosenquest’s latest guidance comes at the right time.

“I agree wholeheartedly with this recommendation to wear our masks as we’re seeing an increase in cases in this area,” she said.

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