Seneca County Public Health will work with local law enforcement to ensure social distancing, masking is occurring at local businesses

Seneca County Public Health says they will be working in coordination with local law enforcement agencies to see that local businesses are adhering to social distancing, masking, and other state mandates associated with response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An announcement was made by Seneca County Attorney David Ettman. “This is in being done in conjunction with the NYS regulatory change, effective July 9, 2020 that has now provided guidance on penalties for those that do not adhere to Social Distancing and Mask requirements,” Ettman said in an update. “The rule imposes an explicit, enforceable requirement on ALL building owners and retail business operators.”

The change was outlined as follows:

“Business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf shall deny admittance to any person who fails to comply with this section [requiring face- coverings] and shall require or compel such persons’ removal. This regulation shall be applied in a manner consistent with the Federal American with Disabilities Act, New York State Human Rights Law, and any other applicable provision of law. Also, any individual violating any provision of this rule is subject to civil penalty up to $1,000.00 per violation, while businesses are subject to civil penalties up to $2,000.00 per day of violation.”

Officials said in the update that the rule will be in effect for 90 days, and that businesses receiving warning letters will be released to the public at media.

They say retailers are advised to obtain masks and face shields to be given to customers to use in stores to assist with complying. Employers are also reminded that mask requirements are necessary if customers interact with workers and are not maintaining 6 feet of social distance.

Complaints can be sent to covidresponse@co.seneca.ny.us.