Businesses adapt to announcement of new amendment to state mask mandate
Upscale Massachusetts Cities Retain Outer Mask Mandate Despite Lean CDC and State Guidelines
The cities of Brookline and Salem in Massachusetts have chosen to keep their outdoor mask mandates in place, even as Gov. Charlie Baker relaxed the state’s tenure on Friday. “Out of prudence and in the best interests of our residents, the Town of Brookline will not follow the state’s decision to lift the mandate for outdoor masks today,” said Dr Swannie Jett, Commissioner of Health from Brookline, in a statement last week. “Our facial coverage requirement has served as a protective layer that limits the possibility of spreading COVID-19 and we are reluctant to release it at this time without further public input and review by the Public Health Advisory Council,” added Dr. Jett. Brookline’s public health advisory board will meet to discuss the cancellation of the mandate on May 13, President Patricia Maher told the Boston Globe. “We are trying to get together as quickly as possible, on the understanding that there are people in town who are anxious, when they are fully vaccinated, not to wear a mask when they are outside,” he said. Maher said. Salem’s board of health has also decided to maintain its requirement for universal exterior masking. The board will meet on May 11 to discuss potential changes to the order. “We need to combine great caution with the consideration that people are probably exhausted from dealing with the pandemic and want some leeway – especially for those who are vaccinated,” said Chairman of the Board, Dr Jeremy. Schiller, at the Globe. The decisions come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed masking guidelines for vaccinated Americans, recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors only in large crowds. In Norfolk County, where Brookline is located, about 58% of residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In Essex County, home to Salem, around 56% of residents have received at least one dose.