Mask Mandate Returns to Erie County, and Tougher Restrictions Could Be Next | Local news

“Honestly, it’s unfair to me to put the responsibility for enforcing that sort of thing on the restaurant owners,” Jerge said. “He listened to us and his staff listened to us, so they’re going to carry out the mask mandate, which we all fully support.”

He noted that the Buffalo Bills have the help of the police to enforce the vaccination mandate at Highmark Stadium, but restaurants would not have that.

“We explained that with the problems we have with hiring and the problems we have with help, hiring additional people — we have multiple entry points — would be practically impossible right now,” Jerge said.

Hochul, business group approves

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the province’s most prominent business organization, discussed the situation with Poloncarz and supports his action, President and CEO Dottie Gallagher said.

“We support them in taking steps that will reduce the chance of blockages or capacity cuts or other things that would be economically detrimental to local businesses. If this is what needs to be done, then we certainly support it,” Gallagher said.

“What we’re trying to avoid as a community is capacity reduction. That’s what will ruin a restaurant, that’s what will ruin a store at this very critical time of the year,” Gallagher said. “We support anything that keeps stores open, restaurants open, and wearing masks won’t slow the economy the way closing or reducing capacity would.”


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