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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: December 10, 2021

Statement from Rensselaer County on Governor’s New Mask Mandate

County Executive Steve McLaughlin:

“This is the wrong direction for the state to be taking, especially given the innumerable orders, policy changes and directives already made during the past two years. This is an overreach and it comes at a time when residents and businesses are already struggling.”

“Residents are already taking common-sense precautions and businesses, organizations and other establishments have been going above and beyond to keep the public and customers safe. Over 80 percent of state residents have already been fully vaccinated.”

“The county Health Department has been providing a seven-day-a-week, round-the-clock response to the pandemic for nearly two years. They are working on contact tracing, immunization clinics and many other duties and do not have the time or resources to deal with yet another state mandate.”

“Rensselaer County will not utilize resources to enforce this new state mandate. If the state wants to enforce the mandate, the state will need to utilize state resources for those actions.”

Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas:

“We are impressed that many residents have already gotten fully vaccinated and are taking reasonable and common-sense steps to deal with the pandemic. Businesses and organizations are also working to keep the public safe and we appreciate the patience and cooperation of the public as we are dealing with the expected and seasonal increase in cases.”

“Our Health Department is already dealing with an increase in contact tracing of cases, conducting three vaccination clinics each week and also handling the many other duties and responsibilities for our department. We simply do not have the staff to deal with the latest mandate by the state or enforcement of the mandate. We will remain focused on our current duties.”

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