County also launches traveling vaccination for local businesses
As the Delta variant causes COVID-19 cases to surge around the country—and the county, local businesses are taking initiative to keep their customers and their staff as safe as humanly possible. The Black Sheep Ale House, which is located on the corner of Roslyn Road and Second Street in Mineola, is one local establishment that is requiring customers to show proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter. In addition, The Black Sheep’s staff has also been fully vaccinated.
Reaction to The Black Sheep’s decision on social media has been mixed. With more than 1,000 comments posted online, some thanked the establishment for protecting its staff and patrons calling it a smart decision. One commenter said that the decision makes their stomach turn because they cannot receive the vaccine due to medical issues while another said they’ll never step foot in the establishment ever again because of the new requirement.
“Absolutely agree with proof of vaccine rules,” one commenter said when the Mineola American asked residents about what they thought about local businesses requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter. “People who are not vaccinated need to understand that this deadly virus needs to be contained.”
Another commenter said, “Until the vaccine [is] FDA approved, you can’t force anyone to get it.”
Last Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated vaccinations for a range of indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms and entertainment centers. Staff and customers must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to enter. De Blasio said the order goes into effect Aug. 16, with full enforcement beginning Sept. 13. New York City will begin inspecting businesses for compliance in mid-September. All customers and workers can either show their vaccination cards or upload their proof of vaccination to the state’s Excelsior Pass.
As we get closer to the fall, it’s expected that more businesses on Long Island will enact this type of requirement. The Engeman Theater in Northport is also requiring patrons to provide proof of vaccination in order to attend its shows.
Recently, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran launched a new program in order to help staff in various establishments get vaccinated to increase safety and vaccination rates. The program offers onsite vaccination events to businesses, administered by the county’s Department of Health. The program is open to all sized businesses, restaurants and shops, and will offer free in-house vaccinations by appointment to all eligible employees and their family members. Employees must be eligible (18+). Appointments can be made by calling 516-227-9570.
The county’s vaccination rate continues to lead the state with nearly 70 percent of the population, and more than 82 percent of adults, with one or more shot—even though the positivity rate in the county is slowly rising once again.
“Nassau County continues to lead the way in vaccinations in New York State and the nation, but we committed to keep up the pace and offer new initiatives to get shots into arms,” Curran said. “This new on-site vaccination program will bring the vaccine directly to places of employment—in hopes to further increase our vaccination rates and protect our residents, and the progress we have made, from COVID-19.”
Curran also announced another new program to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to multiple county offices. The Department of Health will set up vaccination pods in county buildings to vaccinate employees and their families on-site. All employees who participate will be entered in a raffle to win $200, which is sponsored by Stew Leonard’s.