The Erie County Department of Health is responding to questions from permitted facilities, media outlets and the general public about enforcement of the “New York Forward” guidelines and state codes, rules and regulations related to COVID-19.
Last week, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of New York against the Erie County Department of Health and other defendants. This court action allowed two planned wedding reception events in Erie County to proceed with attendance above the 50-person limit for nonessential gatherings under “New York Forward.”
Since the events were scheduled for a restaurant, the court required the restaurant facility to adhere to “New York Forward” phase four guidance with people seated at table with 10 seats or less, remaining seated at tables throughout the event, and wearing masks when walking to exit or to the bathroom. Dancing or standing and mingling in the restaurant were not permitted.
This decision and federal order apply only to these two specific weddings, which were subject of the action. The venue/restaurant was not a plaintiff; therefore, the preliminary injunction does not apply to the venue/restaurant or to any other venue/restaurant.
A press release explained, “Businesses that reopened under “New York Forward,” including permitted food facilities, affirmed they would comply with the guidelines set by New York. Until other guidance is issued by New York state or another court with a countywide or statewide application, the Erie County Department of Health will continue to enforce executive orders and regulations as required by state law.”