AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Town of Amherst has ended its indoor mask mandate as of Thursday night.

According to the Amherst Board of Health, a vote to end the mask mandate was held on March 10. Although the public indoor mask mandate has ended, all students and staff must continue to wear masks until Monday, March 14.

Public Health Director Jennifer Brown said, “I understand that people may be concerned about these changes to mask requirements. Individuals may choose to continue wearing face coverings whether it is mandated or not. I ask that we each respect the choices we each make about our health and well-being. I fully anticipate that there will be many who choose to continue to mask. I simply ask that the community and visitors to be kind and respectful as people evaluate their risks and make choices to protect themselves and those around them.” 

As of Friday, there are 152 confirmed cases active cases of COVID-19 with a total of 7,766 in Amherst.

Mask Requirements in Massachusetts

(Mass.gov) – Effective May 29, 2021, masks continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times in the following locations, subject to the exemptions listed below:

  1. On Public and Private Transportation, including on the MBTA, commuter rail, buses, ferries, and airplanes, and while in rideshares (Uber and Lyft), taxis, and livery vehicles, as required by the Centers for Disease Control January 29, 2021 Order.   Face coverings are also required at all times in transportation hubs, including train stations, bus stops, and airports.  The requirement applies to riders and workers.
  2. Healthcare facilities licensed or operated by the Commonwealth and healthcare practice locations of any provider licensed by a professional board which sits within the Department of Public Health or the Division of Professional Licensure. These settings include nursing homes, rest homes, emergency medical services, hospitals, physician  and other medical and dental offices, urgent care settings, community health centers, vaccination sites, behavioral health clinics, and Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services (BSAS) facilities. This requirement applies to patients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.
  3. Congregate care facilities or programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated, authorized, or funded by the Commonwealth.  These settings include the common areas of assisted living residences, group homes, residential treatment programs, and facilities operated, licensed, certified, regulated, authorized, or funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Youth Services (DYS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).  This requirement applies to clients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.
  4. Emergency shelter programs, including individual and family homeless shelters, domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, veterans’ shelters, and shelters funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development. This requirement applies to guests, staff, vendors and visitors.   
  5. Houses of Correction, Department of Correction prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities.  This requirement applies to people who are detained or incarcerated, staff, vendors and visitors.
  6. Health Care and Day Services and Programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated, or funded by the Commonwealth including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services or one of its agencies.  These settings include adult day health, day habilitation, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), psychosocial rehabilitation club houses, brain injury centers and clubhouses, day treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, recovery support centers and center-based day support programs.  This requirement applies to staff, visitors, vendors and consumers.
  7. Home health care workers, including Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and Home Health Aides in community and home-based settings where they are providing patient-facing care; provided, however, the requirement shall only apply to the worker providing care

The following persons are exempt from the face coverings requirement:

  • Children under 5 years old. 
  • Persons for whom a face mask or covering creates a health risk or is not safe because of any of the following conditions or circumstances:
    • the face mask or covering affects the person’s ability to breathe safely;
    • the person has a mental health or other medical diagnosis that advises against wearing a face mask or covering;
    • the person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or
    • the person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.