City of Easthampton designates mandatory mask zones in public places

Hampshire County

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Some communities around western Massachusetts are starting mandatory mask zones, areas in their communities where regardless of social distancing you still have to wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.

One of those cities is Easthampton, where on Sunday people at the farmer’s market and around town could be seen following the board of health’s order.

“At my age, I wouldn’t want to get this thing. All the precautions we can take is to our benefit and to everybody else’s benefit,” said Gayle Beaupre of Easthampton.

In Easthampton, masks must be worn at all times while you’re within a shaded area shown on the city’s map. When you’re outside of that area, the masks still has to be on just in case you get within six feet of another person.”

Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle says a concern was the city’s small sidewalks which don’t leave much space for social distancing in public.

“We’re looking at trends around us with community transmission and we’re a little concerned,” said Mayor LaChapelle. “As well as our sidewalks being small, our area is small and people are in and out. We felt really, we needed to go up to the mandatory masks.”

When it comes to enforcement, the Easthampton mayor says police will be carrying extra masks for people, but they’re mainly asking people to educate themselves on the importance of wearing a mask.

The first offense is a $50 fine and can go up to $300 but the city says they haven’t had any problems so far.

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