SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The Great New York State Fair has welcomed back thousands of people each day since it opened on August 20, but doing it in the middle of a pandemic and trying to enforce an indoor mask mandate has been nearly impossible.
“It’s a constant battle,” Fair Director Troy Waffner said.
“I don’t have enough staff to put somebody at every booth to make sure people are wearing their masks,” he said.
While most people are following the rules, there are a handful who aren’t, including Jennifer Renahan and her family.
When NewsChannel 9’s Madison Moore asked her why she wasn’t wearing a mask she said, “We’re very comfortable, we definitely keep away from others, we’re letting everybody make their own decisions, we’re comfortable going out and about we’re not standing right directly close to anybody.”
She said nobody approached them to put their masks on inside, something rule-follower Ben Markovitz thinks should be addressed.
“I do think they should be enforcing it because it’s pretty easy to see,” he said.
There are signs in front of every building informing people of the mandate and mask dispensers can be found on the inside of each building.
“Just put your mask on, it’s the rule,” Waffner said.”It’s like speeding again, you don’t speed that’s the rule you know what I mean, but people are creatures and they’ll do what they want at the end of the day and we’ll enforce it, we’ll enforce it to the greatest extent we can.”
Waffner addressed what you should do if the apparent lack of enforcement makes you uncomfortable. “If you’re truly nervous and don’t feel safe or comfortable because of the pandemic, the ongoing pandemic and being in a crowd of people you probably shouldn’t come to the fair,” he said.
Eating and drinking are allowed inside buildings when seated and after consuming your food or beverage you are expected to put your mask back on.