SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s mask mandate is coming back, a move triggered by rising cases from the omicron variant, and the large population not rolling up their sleeves.
With new cases at all time highs, and still many refusing the vaccine, city leaders felt they had to make a move, and enforce masking up in public again.
“AMR is testing thousands a day, I would hope and pray we had that same number of individuals vaccinated,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said.
The Mayor is hoping more take advantage of free clinics, like the one offered at the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. Some people were proud to get their vaccine because many in their home country don’t have access to it.
Kumar Dartie, a native of Bhutan, told 22News, “Some of my family in my country, it’s very difficult to get the vaccine, but when I came here to the U.S. it made it very easy to get the vaccine.”
Language barriers remain an obstacle for vaccinations. “They’re thinking I have to register online, on the phone, they don’t speak English,” said medical language interpreter Nina Dinh. “I see this and this is great for that type of concern, and to help people get the vaccine, to protect themselves to be healthy.”
Despite vaccination efforts, 60 percent of people under 30 are not vaccinated in Springfield. The 451 positive new daily cases reported on Wednesday in the city was an all time high.
Currently, it is required to wear a mask inside all municipal buildings in Springfield. A citywide mask mandate goes into effect on Monday, January 3rd.