Albany County businesses react to indoor mask recommendation

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To mask or not to mask, that is the question.

Albany County is strongly recommending that you put one on when you’re inside a public space.

The latest data from the Albany County Health Department shows the seven-day average of new daily positive COVID cases is now up to 157 from 134.

"It’s spreading like wildfire. I’ll say to every viewer watching this, you’re a lucky person if you know four people in your own group that doesn’t have COVID-19 right now," said Dan McCoy, Albany County Executive.

McCoy recognizes that people are over COVID, but says the recommendation was put in for health reasons. McCoy says they don’t want to put in any more mandates.

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Restaurants owners and managers in Albany are aware of the county’s recommendation, and they are encouraging their customers to do what is best for them.

Allyson Firmbach is the general manager at C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station. She says they are allowing staff members to make their own choices.

"Our policy as of yet has not changed at the moment. Not to say that it might not in our future. We’re looking to do whatever we can to keep everyone safe," said Firmbach.

While at Savoy Taproom, Jason Pierce, the owner, says his customers and employees are welcome to what they feel is best. He says the pandemic has been tough for restaurants.

"It’s time we move on with life. You’re going to go to a restaurant, you’re going to eat, you’re going to go to a bar, have a drink. You’re accepting a certain amount of risk," said Pierce.

Residents can receive a free Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Albany County Department of Health.