CDC changing mask guidance could increase vaccine demand

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The CDC now says you don’t need a mask outdoors or indoors in most settings if you’re fully vaccinated, so some groups calling on Governor Baker to follow suit.

“If you’re any ordinary person and want to wear it that’s fine, but these mandates have to go because these vaccines have worked so many people so we need to act like it’s working,” said Paul Craney, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

Many states no longer have mask mandates, including Connecticut. So that means even at gyms, people don’t need a mask. NEXT Fitness in Agawam believes it’s time to do the same, but they would check to see if members are fully vaccinated.

“We have to remember people are coming here to be healthy,” said Justin Burchell, CrossFit head coach for NEXT Fitness. “We want people coming in and we want people having those intensity levels where they are breathing kind of hard. If they are vaccinated, this is a very safe place to be.”

The change in mask guidance is supposed to encourage vaccinations. Hampden County continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in the state. About a third of Hampden County is fully vaccinated. It’s a little higher in Hampshire County at 39 percent and 43 percent of residents are fully vaccinated in both Franklin County and Berkshire County.

Active cases in Massachusetts dropped to 15,833, which is the lowest since health officials began producing the daily estimate in November.

The positivity test rate also fell to 1.15 percent.

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