Should Massachusetts mandate masks across the state again?

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mask wearing is once again up for debate as cases soar across the state and nation.

Infectious disease experts are saying that we are headed in the wrong direction in this pandemic. Hospitals in some parts of the country are again getting slammed with COVID-19 patients.

Back in mid-May, when over a million new people were getting vaccinated each day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance declaring that it was safe for fully vaccinated people to get rid of the masks in most settings. But now, the CDC is looking into whether masking should return.

Dr. Robert Roose at Mercy Medical Center wouldn’t be surprised if mandates begin again.

“It’s hard to look back. In hindsight things become a little bit clearer sometimes but at the time in which that was made we were moving very briskly through a large scale vaccination campaign that we know has saved lives, prevented infections, reduce hospitalizations and it remains extremely important in this effort.” Dr. Robert Roose at Mercy Medical Center

Holiday gatherings over the Fourth of July may have fueled new outbreaks as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are ticking up after a long decline. Nationwide we know that 97 percent or more of hospitalizations are due to those that are unvaccinated.

The Provincetown Select Board has voted to enact an emergency indoor mask mandate after hundreds got sick with COVID-19 after the fourth of July holiday. At least 430 confirmed cases are associated with the Provincetown cluster. Of these cases, 342 are Massachusetts residents and 153 of those people reside in Provincetown

The CDC is going to continue to weigh the evidence for what’s going to be best for the community but we may see some changes in mask recommendations again if we don’t continue to push and continue to get more people vaccinated and reduce the infection rate. Governor Charlie Baker says he isn’t planning to reissue a mask mandate.

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