SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s mask mandate for business and other public spaces within the city is set to expire Monday.

City officials made the announcement to end Springfield’s mask mandate last Wednesday, citing a decrease in COVID-19 cases.

Springfield issued the mandate on January 3 due to high case numbers after the city saw nearly 3,000 COVID cases the week of January 9. In mid-February the city of Springfield reported 279 cases a dramatic decrease.

22News spoke with some local residents who feel the mask mandate is being lifted too early.

“I actually prefer to keep them in place for an extended period of time,” said Sean Wall of Chicopee. “As soon as we end any type of regulation of social distancing, or mask mandates or anything like that, COVID classes spike up again.”

“It still feels a little bit nerve wracking to take the masks off finally,” Colin McCarthy of Amherst agreed. “I hope that if they do take the mask mandate away people are still being safe.”

Abdullah Abdul-Hakim lives in Springfield and he’s looking forward to see life get back to normal, “Going to the restaurants, getting something to eat. Maybe the bars or movie theaters.”

Springfield Public Schools will require students and staff to wear masks until the end of March.

Mayor Domenic Sarno and Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris cite the end of the mandate to cases decreasing over the last five weeks.