NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton Public Health Department is no longer considering a vaccine mandate for indoor locations.

Easthampton resident, Tony Silva told 22News, “In the end we are talking about peoples lives And the loss of life, and is commerce more important than peoples lives?”

Northampton will no longer consider vaccine mandates for certain indoor locations such as gyms and restaurants.

Instead, the city is limiting capacity for large indoor venues.

We spoke with the community about how they think this will directly impact the day to day life of students, business owners and residents amid the rise in COVID-19 cases.

A student from UMass, Matthew Dardis added, “I think eventually we’ll have to go back to normal as possible but it seems like the new normal is being vaccinated so I can’t see this having any positive effects hopefully it’s just a negligible difference.”

The health department held a meeting Thursday night to discuss the current covid situation. The city’s COVID-19 dashboard reflects a covid positivity rate of 5.5 percent as of early January.

With this vaccine mandate no longer being enforced many urge others to take the necessary health precautions to avoid another surge locally.

“It’s really important that people are vaccinated before they gather. We know that the vaccines make a difference they can save lives and can stop the spread,” stated Silva.

Another UMass Amherst student, Julia Kniggy told us, “It’s important to be as safe as possible masking, making sure you’re vaccinated all things like that.”

While this specific mandate is no longer on the table, the city’s health department is urging residents to wear a high filtration mask, social distance, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.