SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno provided the public with an update on the city’s indoor mask mandate.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced he will not extend the mask mandate and is scheduled to end on November 1st. The city does reserve the right to put it back if cases go up again. Sarno says businesses can still require masks for customers after November 1 and asks people to respect those who will choose to continue wearing masks past the mask mandate end.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris says mask mandate is now a “recommendation.” Commissioner says the city hasn’t received their allotment of COVID booster doses but independent locations like STCC & Eastfield Mall have doses if people are looking for them. She also says many cases of COVID in children came from households with unvaccinated parents.
In the weeks since that mandate was put in place, the number of COVID-19 cases in the city of Springfield has steadily declined. The city had 886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the week the mandate was put in place. A total of 254 cases were reported last week, 71 of those cases were in children under the age of 10.
|Week of September 12, 2021||886|
|Week of September 19, 2021||510|
|Week of September 26, 2021||399|
|Week of October 3, 2021||351|
|Week of October 10, 2021||258|
|Week of October 17, 2021||254|
Mayor Sarno states, “After reviewing the recent COVID-19 trends with Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, we are happy to report that we have seen five consecutive weeks of a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases. We are also happy to see that so far this week there were only 15 reported cases for Tuesday, October 26th and 11 reported cases for Monday, October 25th. Based on this news and the positive trends we are seeing, Commissioner Caulton-Harris and I are confident that we can let this citywide mask mandate expire on Monday, November 1, 2021. We will continue to recommend that masks are worn in all public settings where individuals feel safe and where they want to. It is important to not ostracize anyone who wishes to continue to wear a mask when this mask mandate expires.”
“Our objective has been reached, however, if we see a significant increase of COVID-19 cases, we do reserve the right to implement the mask mandate again,” Mayor Sarno continued. “Additionally, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I want to remind and encourage our residents that we must remain vigilant and we now have to ‘double down and redouble our efforts to please get those unvaccinated vaccinated ASAP!’ Those already vaccinated to get the appropriate booster shot ASAP. We must continue to quickly increase our vaccination rates to turn back this COVID-19 pandemic fully. Also, a timely reminder for all to get their Flu shots and to those age appropriate their Shingles shot too.”
HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “I want to applaud our residents who have worked so hard throughout this pandemic. It is because of our joint efforts working together that we are able to see this significant decrease in positive cases and we can let the mask mandate expire on Monday, November 1, 2021. The City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services will continue to monitor and review COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates and we will make any future recommendations and/or mandates necessary for the betterment of everyone based on public health and safety.”
Springfield Public Schools will continue to follow the state mask mandate. Mayor Sarno says schools are not up to the 80 percent vaccination requirements needed to waive that mandate, “”Monday, I believe we had 11 reported infections, which is one too many but still very very good. We’ve had five successive weeks of declines. Good significant decrease in declines.”