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Fredonia debates emergency declaration, mask usage

A disagreement over the ability of the village of Fredonia to require use of face masks brewed between Mayor Doug Essek and trustee James Lynden at Monday’s Village Board meeting.

Lynden said the mayor should reinstate a declaration of emergency that would give the village the traction to crack down on those not wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the infection rate of COVID-19 escalating heavily in the county and significantly all around us, we still have the community under a lot of restrictions,” Lynden said. “The director of the National Institute of Infectious Disease made a recommendation that local government leaders be as forceful as possible when urging the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. So what I’m asking again as I have in the past is that the mayor reinstates the emergency declaration in the village so that he can use that within our community and going beyond what the other recommendations are from around the state.”

Essek responded. “The safety of our residents and all our employees of the village are my top concern,” Essek said. “Right now we are following all the guidelines from the state. I really don’t see that a state of emergency has anything to do with wearing masks.”

“The state of emergency doesn’t have anything to do with requirements for the masks,” Police Chief Philip Maslak added. “The mask requirements are from the state and are changing. The last couple of weeks the requirement now is that the business owner does not allow anyone without a mask into their business.”

The topic was dropped shortly after.

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