Chautauqua County Will Not Enforce New York’s New Mask Mandate

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MAYVILLE – While Chautauqua County’s Executive agrees wearing a mask will prevent the spread of COVID-19, he feels the statewide mask mandate that went into effect Monday isn’t the best strategy and thus he will not be enforcing it.

Executive PJ Wendel says in the past similar mandates have not been the best approach, with many small businesses faced with a tough decision: enforce the order or face losing customers.

“I can’t tell you how may times in the last 24-hours I’ve heard people say, ‘if that’s what they are doing here I’ll go to Erie and shop,’ that’s concerning,” said Wendel.

Early on in the pandemic, Wendel says many fights broke out at businesses who enforced statewide mandates; something he fears will return.

“There are some people that are looking for that strife and conflict, please, it’s Christmas, if you walk into a business and they have the mandate there, and ask you to wear a mask, if you don’t wanna wear it, then turn around a leave,” continued Wendel.

The executive says if the state wants the mandate enforced, they will have to do the policing on their own.

“It will be interesting to see how fast they bring in staff to enforce it, because for two years now in two administrations I’ve asked for vaccination help and testing help and we’ve received nothing from the state,” said Wendel.

The executive goes on to say that encouraging vaccinations, and identifying and isolating those who test positive, is the greatest need right now to reduce the spread and subsequently prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.



  1. Impeach Wendel! How many have to die to satisfy republican greed? How many elderly? How Many kids? I want to hear straight from Wendel’s mouth . How Many??? All you do is keep the freaks and fascists happy, You don’t care who lives or dies….

    • The masks would only protect the elderly and kids if they were the ones wearing them.

      Also he never says he’s against the mandate, just that it’s not possible for them to enforce.

      I’d like to hear him say he’s against the mandate because it is stupid.

  2. Yes because a mask will definitely protect you and others from Covid. Yet alone anything else… sheep need to stay in their pens.

  3. wheres the number? how many have to die? People are dying every day. How many will satisfy your greed and stupidity? Why wont your chosen one answer the question? IMPEACH Wendel!

  4. Unfortunately this prevailing attitude of low vaccine rates, lack of masks, contact tracing plus little good advertising of vax clinics & testing have contributed to such high rates in our area. Sad that so many people have to get sick to drive in the point.

  5. My fully vaccinated husband died from Covid. Vaccines are helpful but masks protect the wearer from infection by another person. We only had masks in 2020 & our hospitals were not full of Covid infections. If we don’t get the numbers down rhe rest of us won’t get care when we need it. I am with the Governor on the mask mandate & Wendel can resign any day.

  6. This is just common sense. Common sense must prevail. The fear created by our federal government and the left leaning news media is causing mass insanity. The federal government and state governments would rather pour millions into their pet projects than help the average citizen. I pray they do not put in enforcement for this overreach.

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