Some New Yorkers are waking up to new COVID restrictions and Gov. Hochul is calling on more local leaders to follow suit.

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Erie County in New York issued an indoor mask mandate in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID.

Starting Tuesday any person entering indoor public spaces in Erie County must wear a mask over their nose and mouth. This requirement applies to everyone, patrons and public-facing employees, who are age 2 or older and medically able to tolerate a mask.

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This is big news for residents in the Hudson Valley and across New York State because Gov. Kathy Hochul applauded the move and wants more leaders in New York to act now to help stop the deadly virus.

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"I want to commend Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for taking strong actions today to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Western New York. This is an example of the leadership we need to see at the local level to combat this deadly virus," Hochul said.

The new mask mandate in Erie County comes as the county is dealing with a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related hospitalizations.

The order will be re-evaluated on December 13 and if COVID numbers don't improve Poloncarz may follow New York City's mandate and make everyone show proof they are vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter a bar or restaurant.

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“We consulted with business, community and health care leaders, especially with employees who are front-line workers, and they welcome this step,” Poloncarz stated. “This is the busiest time of year for many restaurants, stores and entertainment venues, and having this measure in place will provide another layer of protection against infection in those workplaces.”

On Monday, Hochul spoke with leaders across New York to see how county executives plan to slow the spread of COVID.

Governor Hochul Holds COVID Briefing and Makes an Announcement with the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Liberty
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"I spoke with county executives yesterday from every region of the state to hear firsthand their plans to combat the Delta variant and pledge State resources and support to make vaccines and boosters even more widely available as we approach the holiday season," Hochul stated. "Let's avert a spike this winter with the tools we know will help stop the spread of COVID-19: Get vaccinated, get the booster if you are already vaccinated, and wear a mask when in public places indoors."

Hochul didn't detail those discussions. Some regions in New York are reporting significantly higher COVID numbers. Below is each region's updated 7-day average percentage of positive test results: