NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Masks will soon be optional basically anywhere in Massachusetts starting Saturday but with some key exceptions.
Everyone will still have to wear a mask while riding public and private transportation or visiting health care facilities.
“We need to protect those vulnerable people and highly effective doesn’t mean 100 percent effective. There isn’t some big red v or any sign that lets us know who is vaccinated and who is not,” said Linda Riley, infection prevention manager at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
The Department of Public Health and the CDC are hoping to ensure people at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and urgent cares are protected.
Riley also said wearing a mask when visiting a healthcare facility will help protect other patients who might be especially at risk for the virus. It’s also important because vaccination rates are not at herd immunity levels.
“They anticipate a severe flu season next year. People with allergies have said wearing a mask has made a tremendous difference in having nasal allergy symptoms. So masks help the allergy symptoms and they help with respiratory illness,” said Riley.
The people at Cooley Dickinson also said that there are still some uses that masks can hold in the future.