NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Communities across western Massachusetts are setting dates for when mask mandates will expire.
22News was at our Hampshire County Bureau and spoke with people who voiced their opinions about lifting mandates in Hampshire county. Many of the people 22News spoke with hope local leadership will hold off lifting masks mandates just yet.
“I’ve gotten very use to it. It’s just one of those things you put it on when you’re going in and take it off when you get into the car,” said Pat Stout of Cummingham.
Masks have become part of the everyday routine. But for how much longer? Since the start of the pandemic, communities in Hampshire county have been strict about precautions.
“Sometimes it feels like we’re in a bubble here. You just go even out of this area just a little bit and it’s very different,” said Lisa Darragh of Easthampton.
Northampton and Amherst have had the current mandates in place since August. And the people who spend their time and those communities aren’t ready to say goodbye to mask requirements.
“I feel we should have them for a little while longer just to make sure the numbers are really going down,” said Stout.
Even if mandates are lifted, people will then decide for themselves. Lisa Darragh always wears a mask, mandate or not.
“I get ridiculed for it sometimes. I volunteer for hospice, my mother is in a nursing home and I would never want to endanger anybody,” said Darragh.
In Franklin County, the city of greenfield lifted the mandate on February 18. In Hampden County, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced the city’s mandate would likely end on February 28.
Easthampton’s Board of Health is deciding during a meeting Tuesday evening whether the mandate will end or be extended.