Amherst issues emergency order requiring face masks to be worn

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of Amherst has issued an emergency order requiring residents to wear a mask or face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and it went into effect Monday.

Town officials say the order is to help protect everyone’s health as COVID-19 case numbers are once again on the rise. There will be signs posted informing people that they have entered into a mask required zone.

This goes for anyone over the age of five in the town center which includes Pleasant Street, Amity Street, and Lincoln Avenue.

As coronavirus case numbers slowly rise, increased restrictions are in place to help slow the spread of the virus.

“Now that businesses are reopening, restaurants are reopening, we have seen a big increase in pedestrian foot traffic and our goal is to protect the public health of our community and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as much as we can,” Amherst Communications Manager Brianna Sunryd told 22News.

The following is a list of exceptions to this new order:

  • You don’t have to wear a mask if you are dining out at a restaurant
  • You don’t have to wear one if you have prior medical issues

The designated enforcing authority may call on the support of the Amherst Police Department if necessary and you could face consequences if you are caught without a face covering. Although you may only get a verbal warning at first a first offense will cost you $50, $100 for a second offense, and as much as $200 for a third offense.

The town is looking to educate the public as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues and would prefer not to issue these fines.

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