Mask mandates coming to an end for local municipalities

Coronavirus Local Impact

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield is now off the list of communities with mask mandates.

It was West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt who requested the Board of Health to lift it, citing a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases. They are now leaving masks up to the businesses.

“Businesses can have signs that say, you know, ‘Please wear masks.’ They can certainly do that and the Board of Health still recommends masks going inside buildings, regardless of vaccination status,” said Mayor Reichelt.

Mayor Reichelt said the original thinking behind the mandate was to prevent a chance of super spreader event at the Big E. Now that its over and COVID-19 cases are decreasing, they felt it was in the best of interest of businesses to no longer enforce mask wearing.

“We have a strained staff enforcement as it is, so to put that on businesses that are still recovering from being closed is very difficult and frustrating for everyone,” said Mayor Reichelt.

Mayor Reichelt said they enforced the mandate on a complaint-based system. They also didn’t want it to be a deterrent for people to shop in West Springfield. He said COVID-19 cases are back to where they were before the Delta surge this summer.

Only 100 cases were linked back to the Big E this year, so the town was able to avoid a super spreader event with the mandate in effect. In Springfield, this city is scheduled to lift their mask mandate for businesses Monday, November 1st.

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