SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The states mask order has been in effect since last Friday and violating it could cost you. This is an order that the city of Springfield knows is hard to enforce everywhere, so that’s why they’re urging residents to take responsibility, so that Springfield can get out of the red.
Mask wearing has become a norm in our society due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but putting one on is also now more than just a choice. Governor Baker’s latest order requests that local health departments enforce a mask wearing mandate that applies when you’re in public. The state’s new mask mandate calls for everyone to wear mask even if they’re outside and six feet away from someone else.
22News spoke with Springfield’s Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris about that and she acknowledged how hard that is to enforce, “We need to support each other. We cannot be in all places. But we can make sure our neighbors are families are adhering to the mandate. So the enforcement has to be an individual mandate.”
Springfield Mayor Sarno reiterated her message to slow the spread of COVID cases in the city, “We can’t be with you every hour of the day. You need to take some personal responsibility. Instead of pointing fingers on this issue and that, look in the mirror. You can help solve this problem.”
Governor Baker’s order says health departments can work with state or local police to enforce the mandate. If you are caught without a mask, you could be fined up to $300, and that’s for every time you’re seen not wearing it in public. The order does allow an exception for residents who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition.
We should expect the mandate to be in effect for a while, with Massachusetts still in Phase 3 and recent high numbers of new COVID-19 cases.