Easthampton mask mandate in effect beginning Thursday

Coronavirus Local Impact

Hampshire County listed as “high” risk for COVID-19 transmission

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Easthampton’s Board of Health voted Tuesday requiring masks to be worn in public indoor and certain outdoor spaces in effect beginning at 12.01 a.m. on September 2.

According to a news release from the Board of Health, any one two years or older are required to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, large outdoor gatherings/events where 100 or more people are expected and social distancing cannot be maintained, and on the sidelines/benches/dugouts of moderate to high risk outdoor sporting events, regardless of vaccination status.

Mask exemptions include individuals with underlying medical conditions, while seated and eating or drinking at restaurants or bars, and in shared office spaces where six feet of distancing is maintained.

Mandatory policy for wearing masks in Easthampton

The Easthampton mask order includes detailed information on where masks are required to be worn.

The Board of Health indicates sports and recreational activities that have physical contact between participants are at high risk of transmitting the virus. Masks should be worn in the dugouts, benches, and other common seating areas for outdoor moderate and high risk contact team sports. Masks are highly
recommended, at all times, during high risk sporting events.

Moderate Risk Team Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Running clubs
  • Team swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Dance class
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Soccer

High Risk Team Sports:

  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Rugby
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Ice-hockey
  • Competitive cheer
  • Martial arts
  • Ultimate frisbee
  • Boxing
  • Pair figure skating

map from the CDC showing the transmission rates in Hampshire County are considered high. The CDC recommends people in high transmission areas wear a mask indoors in public places to reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant. Anyone with a weakened immune system regardless of transmission level are also encouraged to wear a mask.

According to CDC data collected from August 24 through August 30, Hampshire County has 171 positive COVID-19 cases of 8,970 tested with 1.54% positivity rate from 7-day data reported on August 27. From August 22 – 29, there were 15 people admitted to the hospital. Residents that are fully vaccinated are 56.6% (90,984) of the total population.

The Delta variant 2x as contagious when compared to other variants even in persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and is causing more severe illness in unvaccinated people. Experts say it spreads more easily because of mutations that make it better at latching onto cells in our bodies.

The Easthampton Health Department is assisting residents with COVID-19 vaccine appointments and providing cloth face masks to those in need.

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