‘We do not need to shut down': Monroe County's Vax-Boost-Mask campaign aims to keep things open
In an effort to prevent shutdowns, Monroe County officials are calling on businesses to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 with the new “Vax-Boost-Mask" campaign.
The goal is to encourage business owners and customers to prioritize vaccination and mask wearing to keep the economy moving.
“When you see the ‘Keep Monroe Open’ sign in a window, that is a business person who cares about every single person who walks through their door,” said public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza.
Adam Bello along with Colleen Wegman deliver Vax. Boost. Mask. message asking community to help keep businesses open and employees safe ahead of a projected omicron case surge that has shut down entertainment venues & businesses in NYC. @WXXINews @RStephen_Media pic.twitter.com/V5VkWTgmd3— Max Schulte (@maxrocphoto) December 20, 2021
He added that multiple layers of protection are critical at this time and will go a long way toward helping the community get through what will hopefully be a “short-lived surge brought on by the omicron variant.”
The state is currently under a vaccine-or-mask mandate, which requires people wear masks while inside public places unless the business or venue established a vaccine requirement.
County Executive Adam Bello said he is confident that these precautions will prevent the region from having to implement more extreme measures in the long run.
“Let me be clear, we do not need to shut down our schools and businesses to get through this,” Bello said. “What we do need is to be smart, respectful, and considerate of others.”
Wegmans is among the businesses backing the campaign. CEO Colleen Wegman asked customers for their support.
“We encourage everyone to get the booster shot,” she said. “And we're asking everyone to please wear masks a little while longer, until we can get this virus under control.”
Bob Duffy, the CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said it’s about being responsible and protecting others.
“To my knowledge, nobody has died wearing a mask,” Duffy said. “I don't think anybody's died from the vaccine. But over 800,000 people in this country have died from COVID. So I'm just calling on everybody to please adhere to this.”
Duffy also said business owners should encourage customers to wear masks – but not confront anyone who chooses not to.
Mendoza said the Vax-Boost-Mask campaign will help alleviate an already strained system.