President's Message

County Employee Mask Directive

January 14, 2022

Dear COBA Members;

This past week County Executive Blakeman signed Executive Order 3-2022, which directs in relevant part that "Nassau County Agencies cease all public place mask enforcement mandates and directives issued by the State of New York and previous Nassau County Administration."

Many COBA Members have contacted the union requesting clarification as to whether this Executive Order pertains to Law Enforcement, the Courts and specifically us in Corrections.

We contacted the County Administration requesting clarification, specifically since the directive pertains to "all County Employees", but also clearly states that it refers to "all public places". Obviously the Correctional Center, and numerous areas of NUMC and the Courts are not public places.

Additionally, there is currently a Sheriffs Directive in place dated November 25th, 2020 stating that "All Staff are required to wear a mask while on duty when in the presence of another individual (staff or inmate), even if social distancing is possible."

We have been advised by the County that County HR is working on guidance that will be general and specific by location as applicable to Corrections, NUMC and the Courts. This means that until specific guidance is issued regarding the mask mandates, as related to the State Directive and the Executive Order, the current Sheriffs Order remains in effect. Any advice or direction that is given to ignore or violate the standing Sheriffs Order is poor in judgement and not in your best interest as it may subject you to disciplinary action for violation thereof.

COBA intends to have this issue clarified by next week. Until then, dont get yourself jammed up over someone's opinion that violates a standing Sheriffs Order.

Always in Unity

Brian Sullivan, COBA President

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