EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The East Longmeadow Board of Health voted unanimously to downgrade the mask mandate instituted on August 28th to a mask advisory effective November 2nd.
The Board of Health does advise that all unvaccinated individuals to continue to wear a mask indoors and all vaccinated residents who are at increased risk from COVID-19, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Some businesses in East Longmeadow say this is a good thing. Shaker Bowl General Manager Justin Godfrey told 22News their efforts remain strong to keep customers safe from the virus with or without a mask, “We are excited about it, its kind of the biggest question we got from our bowlers… “When can we take our masks off?” I think it will help business, hopefully.”
Some bowlers choosing to stay masked up, others going mask free but keeping them close by.
Management is also doubling down on sanitation efforts to keep their patrons safe.
“We sanitize every lane after every guest after every visit. The balls, shoes… everything. Bowling is probably the leanest it’s ever been,” said Godfrey.
22News spoke with one parent who said that while communities are removing their mask mandates, he wants to see it stay in place at schools.
“School? I think they should keep it going for a little bit. I think it should still go on for a while, you also got the cold and flu season,” said Andrew Roissing of Hampden.
COVID-19 Mask Requirements
“The Department of Public Health has issued a new mask advisory in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Fully vaccinated individuals are advised to wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is an unvaccinated adult. Masks are still mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.” Massachusetts Department of Public Health
While the town enforcement of a mask mandate expired, this does not restrict local businesses from enforcing their own mask requirements. The downgrade also does not affect the public school mask mandate put in place by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
As of October 28th there are a total of 1,928 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in East Longmeadow, 43 new cases in the last 14 days, with a the 14-day positivity rate for the Town is 3.16%, and the state is 1.76%.