‘Vax, boost, mask’ Monroe County launches campaign to keep businesses open

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — "Vax, boost and mask" those three words were echoed by Monroe County leaders as they included terms in the county’s new effort to do what it says will help keep businesses and schools open through the current COVID surge.

County Executive Adam Bello Monday was joined by Wegmans CEO Colleen Wegman, Rochester Mayor-Elect Malik Evans, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Mendoza, and other local leaders to roll out the new campaign.

Bello, and fellow leaders echoed the goal of the campaign is to keep every business open while maintaining safe COVID protocols. As part of the effort, the county is handing out posters to different businesses and organizations that promote the COVID protocols, like masking. The effort already has a web page set up.

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There are currently 500 COVID patients hospitalized, with 141 in the ICU, according to the latest stats from the Finger Lakes Region.

Right now, New York has an indoor mask mandate in effect for all public and private buildings. Some county execs have pushed back, but Bello said the county would be enforcing the rule, albeit, without a focus on actual enforcement or fines at this time.

Wegman was asked about how her stores handle a potentially unmasked customer.

"Unfortunately in today’s world, if we were to ask our people to approach an unmasked person, that could be unsafe for them," Wegman said. "So that’s not something I can ask our people to do, but that’s why we’re here again today to ask our customers to please do that on their own."

Both Bello, and Gov.Kathy Hochul have maintained they do not want to shut businesses down.