Athens village officials ask concert attendees to mask up
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Athens Village Board has asked Athens Performing Arts Corporation to require attendees at the group's weekly concerts to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The first event in the annual series hosted by APAC was held Fri., Jul. 30, in Riverfront Park. Village board member Joshua Lipsman, a physician and former public health official, suggested that face coverings be required in public spaces, arguing that Greene County is in a substantial state of transmission and has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. As of late last week, in Greene County, 61.9 percent of adults and 54.1 percent of all residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The seven-day rolling positivity rate in the county was 5 percent as of July 29. “We are on the verge, if we don’t do something, of having a significant outbreak in our area,” Lipsman said. Village board members expressed concern about the concert series, which typically draws hundreds of people to the village. “We don’t have any cases here in Athens right now, but APAC does attract people from other spots so I think some of these efforts will go a long way,” Mayor Amy Serrago said. “We will get through Friday and then see what is happening next week.” Serrago acknowledged that enforcement will be challenging. Rick Surrano, a representative of APAC, said he spoke with the group’s board of directors and they will comply with the village’s mandate. APAC is offering an abbreviated six-concert series this year. In a typical year, there are 10 performances, but the pandemic made for a shortened season. Information at AthensVillageNY [dot] com. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.