Rochester gym to not comply with state and county mask mandate

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — County Executive Adam Bello announced this week Monroe County will enforce the governor’s new mask mandate in hopes of controlling the winter surge.

That means businesses in Rochester have to ask people to wear masks or show proof of vaccination while indoors.

Raven Brown: “There are some businesses saying ‘Absolutely not, I’m not doing this.’ I know you weren’t talking about fines yesterday but I feel like it’s important.”

Bello: “Yeah… No… I mean I don’t know if we’re going to… At the end of the day, I want to work with people first."

Bello said Monroe County will enforce Gov. Kathy Hochul’s indoor mask mandate, but some businesses are already pushing back.

“We encourage people to do what’s best for them,” President and Owner of World Gym in Rochester and Greece Ron Sember said.

Sember has multiple signs on the doors saying: "World Gym Rochester/Greece will not be requiring masks — We don’t comply to mandates from un-elected officials."

“Wear a mask, wear two masks, wear a moon suit,” Sember said. “We don’t care what you do to protect yourself, we want you to feel safe and protected. By walking through the door and exercising, you’re boosting your immune system and you’re protecting yourself."

Right now, Bello said their focus is on education and he’s encouraging all businesses to put together a plan.

“What’s disappointing in those pronouncements is that there’s not a conversation about what they are doing to protect their customers and their staff,” Bello said.

Hochul’s mandate said a business or person could be fined up to $1,000 if they don’t require masks to be worn in all indoor public places or implement a vaccine requirement.

“The first shut down which was supposed to be two weeks, which turned to into seven months and continual oversight by the government ruined my business,” Sember said. “Ruined it to the point where it’s never going to come back which has affected how I feed my family which is not OK."

Bello said there is no plan to hurt or shut businesses down but he said the only way we can get through this effectively, is if everyone works together.

“Let’s settle down a lot of the conflict that exists out there,” Bello said. “Let’s work together and get it done because we all have the same, even people I understand don’t want to wear a mask, they have the same goal we do which is to get out of this pandemic with as many people alive and healthy as possible."

When it comes to how the enforcement will work specifically in Monroe County, Bello has not commented on that.