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Capital Region leaders urge mask-wearing as COVID cases rise

Dan McCoy and Rory Fluman at COVID press conference
Ashley Hupfl
Dan McCoy and Rory Fluman at COVID press conference

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman are issuing an official public health advisory strongly advising residents to wear masks indoors due to the spike of COVID-19 cases in the region.

They held a press conference Tuesday to announce the new advisory. McCoy says the increase in coronavirus spread in the Capital Region is partly due to the lack of masks being worn in public:

“We’re pleading with people,” McCoy said. “Please do the right thing. COVID is not gone. I know you’re done with it, but it’s not done with us.”

The advisory is not a mandate, but a mandate could be re-enacted if hospitalizations continue to rise. Invoking the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, Fluman echoed McCoy’s pleas.

“For me, it's about citizenship. It's about wearing a mask is a good thing to do as an American citizen, and certainly on a date of today and remembrance, ‘what can we do for our fellow man?’ During World War Two, we weren't so individualistic. We didn't think of maybe only ourselves and our only opinion. Public health is about community,” Fluman said. “Public health is about my effects, having a direct effect on your health and if I'm not vaccinated and I'm not choosing to wear a mask, I'm not being a good citizen.”

The two county leaders are also asking businesses to put up signs asking customers to mask up before entering.