SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield will soon require face coverings in public settings, as the city continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases.
According to Mayor Domenic Sarno, this is in the best interest of public health right now with the Delta variant spreading quicker than other strains.
The city of Springfield implemented a temporary citywide mask mandate in response to COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations jumping dramatically in the last month. It means residents will need to wear a mask in any indoor public setting, or outdoors when they can’t social distance.
A total of 98 percent of all new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts have been caused by the more contagious, Delta variant. Springfield’s mask mandate starts Monday, September 13th and runs until November 1st, but that end date could be sooner.
Mayor Sarno said, “Now if things happen where vaccination rates go up, and infections go down we can rescind this. The ball’s in the people’s court right now.”
Mayor Sarno said businesses could be fined $300 for failing to enforce the mask mandate. They will not be subject to any capacity limitations.
Out of the 547 new cases the city reported last week, more than half of them were people under the age of 30. When you look at vaccination rates in the city, the lowest is the 12 to 15 age group, at 33 percent.
Overall, 47 percent of Springfield residents are fully vaccinated.