Picente Institutes Mask Policy, Temperature Checks Through Holidays

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente announced today a temporary public health order that will require masks to be worn in all indoor public places and for temperature checks to be conducted at social gatherings taking place outside of a private residence, with an opt-out if only vaccinated people are allowed entry.

The order will go into effect at 7 a.m. on December 13, 2021 through January 10, 2022. Actions will be reevaluated at that time.

“Case numbers remain high and our hospitals are at capacity,” Picente said. “We must put more safeguards in place to protect our residents, especially during the increased activity of the holiday season. Combined with increased booster vaccines, these temporary mask and temperature check orders will aid us in reducing the spread of COVID at this busy time of year without placing capacity restrictions on businesses, organizations and events.”

Picente made the announcement during a meeting in which he invited the leaders of county businesses, organizations and educational and religious institutions to discuss the current COVID-19 situation and encouraged all to step up healthy and safety efforts.

The mask order will require use in all public indoor settings such as retail stores, sporting and entertainment venues, restaurants and personal care establishments. Mask use will not be required while eating or drinking. This order does not apply to private gyms and fitness centers.

Temperature checks will be required for entry into any indoor social gathering occurring outside of a private home, such as weddings, holiday parties and fundraisers. Mask use is not required in these instances.

Businesses and facilities that only allow vaccinated people do not have to require masks or temperature checks.

You can view the temporary public health order here