LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Longmeadow has jumped onboard with masking up, joining a growing list of western Massachusetts communities as COVID-19 cases rise again.
The town of Longmeadow will soon be greeted with more signs requiring face coverings indoors for all people, despite vaccination status. Longmeadow Board of Health voted in favor of an indoor mask mandate to combat rising COVID-19 cases, especially as the school year begins.
“The biggest concern is that the virus takes hold and we get a large outbreak,” said Dr. Robert Baevsky, chair of the Longmeadow Board of Health. “Our goal is to keep the schools open to keep the kids in the school. By doing a mask mandate we think that would be a good first start in order to mitigate the covid pandemic.”
The mask mandate, now in effect, applies to everyone over the age of five years old, going inside town buildings, restaurants, bars, gyms, salons, places of worship, and schools. 22News spoke with a Longmeadow resident, Bianca Cargill, who said their daughter is too young to be vaccinated, so they are happy there is a mask mandate.
“I just think it’s the best way to keep everyone safe,” said Cargill. “I don’t think wearing a mask is really a big deal or would bother me. If that’s what it takes to keep my daughter safe I am really happy to.”
The Board of Health is enforcing the mandate and asking people not to take it upon themselves to approach those who aren’t wearing a mask. Currently, there are no set fines for violators of the mandate but that could change depending on compliance with the order.
The Longmeadow Board of Health is also encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.