WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Just in time for the holidays, mandates are coming back for some towns. Despite Governor Baker choosing not to issue a statewide indoor mask mandate, some communities are implementing their own.
22News found out where you might need to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. While some communities are re-issuing a mask mandate, Governor Baker says he has no interest in putting a mandate in place.
Cities and towns across the state are re-implementing mask mandates as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has overtaken the Delta variant as the most dominant strain in the country. Health officials are urging Americans to step up safety measures now, ahead of millions gathering for the holiday later this week.
“The testing tools, vaccinations and many of the other tools that we have make it possible for people to gather safely. We just need to use them and use them appropriately,” said Baker.
The City of Westfield is reinstating a city-wide indoor mask mandate starting on Monday. 56 percent of residents are vaccinated which the city says is low compared to other local similar communities.
As of December 21, 18 western Massachusetts communities have an indoor mask mandate in place. This
includes Easthampton, Hadley, Amherst, Lenox, Greenfield and Pittsfield. South Hadley’s Board of Health is meeting Monday night on whether to issue an indoor masking mandate. Springfield could have one as early as next week.
Governor Baker announcing that he has issued a statewide indoor mask advisory, urging everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces. He is still not budging on a mask mandate, saying he doesn’t think that is necessary given the state’s vaccination status.