Genesee revises policy to require county employees to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status
Genesee County Manager Matt Landers, in response to a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, has revised the masking policy for county employees.
Effective yesterday, all county employees are required to wear masks while in county buildings, regardless of their vaccination status. Previously, the requirement was that county employees had to show that they were vaccinated in order to not have to wear an approved face covering.
“We can point to three key reasons why this change has been made,” Landers said last night. “First, Genesee County set a new record for positive cases in one day yesterday (Wednesday) with 82; next we are seeing that 35 percent of the positive cases are vaccine breakthrough cases (those who previously were vaccinated) and, although not confirmed, there is suspected spread of the virus from county employees.”
Landers said he is approaching further policy changes “in steps,” adding that the next step would be to require masking of members of the public in county facilities.
However, he said there would be “no step where we would impose anything on private entities, such as businesses. That would be left up to the state.”
He said he is leaving it up to department heads when it comes to specific buildings.
“At the Office for the Aging (on Bank Street), masks are required for both staff and the public,” he said, noting a higher risk among elderly residents.
Landers did say that once people are seated and kept apart by at least six feet, they can remove their masks.
The county employs about 500 people at various locations.