Madison County businesses could face a fine if employees who are in contact with the public don't wear a mask or face covering.


The Madison County Department of Health will be implementing a three-strike rule going forward. The first violation would result in a simple phone-call warning and education on why wearing a mask or face covering is important. A second violation amounts to an in-person warning from either the health department or the sheriff's office. The third strike is a $500 fine, county health officials announced in a press released Thursday.

The release from MCDOH cites an executive order from Governor Cuomo which requires employees who are unable to maintain six feet of social distancing when dealing with members of the public to wear face coverings. ''The Governor has placed the enforcement of his executive order upon the local governments,'' the release stated.

In announcing the new enforcement plan, MCDOH says it has received several previous complaints from the public, which have resulted in ''either a member of the Madison County Health Department or Madison County Sheriff’s Office follows up with a phone call, a letter, or a visit to the business.  No fines have been issued in the past.  At the July 14, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board gave their approval for a 3-strike enforcement policy to the MCDOH,'' the release said.

“Wearing a face covering is one of the best defenses we have against COVID-19,” Madison County Public Health Director Eric Faisst said in the release. “We have said for months now, and continue to ask people to wear their face coverings when they are unable to maintain social distancing.  Please remember anyone over the age of two should wear a face covering.  Because many people can be infectious but not show symptoms, wearing a mask not only protects you but others from you should you be infected.”

Unlike a similar enforcement effort in Oneida County, this policy does not look to fine businesses that allow patrons in their establishments who are not wearing a mask for face covering.


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