Masks will be optional for vaccinated fans at Thunderbirds games

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Before entering the MassMutual Center, Beth and James put their masks on.

With the mask mandate expiring in Springfield on Monday, it is now up to the fans to decide how they plan to watch the game.

“I have elderly relatives and she’s vaccinated and everything but it’s still important to protect her from all of the breakthrough cases, variants. So I still wear it grocery shopping, said Beth Derderian of Malboro.

“You’ve got to remember this is why those case loads are down,” James Jones noted.

Mayor Sarno announced the decision this week to let the mask mandate expire after five weeks of declining cases. Going from 886 cases on the week of September 12 to 254 on the week of October 17.

“Even though we had to have the masks, it was nice to have hockey back and it’s worth it to wear the masks and being able to go to a hockey game,” said Al Arment of West Springfield.

Al told 22News he’s glad to hear cases are going down and that the mask mandate is going away. But with masks soon to be just a recommendation, they’ll now have to decide for themselves what’s best.

“We’ve had our three vaccinations a piece and we’re guarded against it but right now we’re just not sure yet,” said Al.

Springfield Health & Human Services Commissioner Caulton-Harris noted that they will continue to watch cases and make adjustments as needed.

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