Fearing the surge in COVID-19 infections will have a dramatic impact on the local economy, leaders of business, government and health care today unveiled the Vax. Boost. Mask. campaign, hoping heightened vigilance in protecting the community will prevent another shutdown.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, Wegmans Food Markets President and CEO Colleen Wegman, Rochester Mayor-elect Malik Evans, county Commissioner of Public Health Michael Mendoza and hospital medical officers urged the public to take precautions in order to keep businesses, retail establishments and entertainment venues open.
“I believe most people are concerned with keeping our kids safe, having stores, restaurants and businesses that we depend on remain open, and on keeping businesses, employees and customers safe and healthy,” Bello said in a news release. “We know how to do that — masking indoors, getting vaccinated and tested are common sense, proven ways to stop the spread of this virus and the coming Omicron variant. These precautions will also help limit the spread of the flu.”
The county is distributing “Let’s Keep Monroe Open” posters to businesses, organizations and employers. Hanging the poster is meant to show customers and employees that the organization provides a protected and safe indoor environment.
“We are proud to support Let’s Keep Monroe Open on behalf of our business community,” Wegman said. “We are honored to call Rochester our hometown and want to keep our community and economy healthy for everyone who lives and works here. It’s up to each of us to do our part to help.”
Continuing to combat the virus is critical, Evans said.
“As we think about this upcoming holiday season, we must ensure safety is our number one priority,” Evans said. “If we want to keep Monroe County open, it is crucial that we get vaccinated, mask up, and take all proper precautions. I also urge all residents to take advantage of all free testing options available.”
A mandate from Gov. Kathy Hochul requires that people wear masks in all indoor public places in the state unless the business or venue has implemented a vaccine requirement.
“Our region has been experiencing an increase in serious illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19,” Mendoza said. “The holiday season and the Omicron variant threaten to make matters worse, posing a particularly significant risk to unvaccinated individuals, older adults, immunocompromised people and other vulnerable members of our community.
“It is heartening to see Monroe County businesses pull together to prevent harm by taking these steps to keep the virus from spreading from one person to another.”
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