More communities recommending masks as COVID transmission goes up

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – To mandate masks or not: that is the question facing a number of local health departments across our area. After the CDC recommended masks in areas with substantial or high transmission rates.

Franklin County, for example, was the only county in the low transmission category but now it’s gone up to substantial. The Greenfield Board of Health is now encouraging people to wear masks indoors in public.

Meantime the only county in the state in the moderate category is Hampshire County. Moderate means a person does not need to wear a mask in that area.

However, the Northampton Health Department is now recommending businesses require masks indoors.

Rick Paiva of Northampton said he’s wearing his mask and he’s encouraging others to put one on.

“You can’t force anybody to do anything,” he told 22News. “People wear a mask that’s up to you, that’s your choice. Do you want to be sick or do you just want to be dumb?”

The Northampton Health Department said they’ve seen an uptick in cases and outbreaks in local businesses.

On Monday, August 8, there will be a Board of Health Meeting to talk about “strategies” including what businesses can do to reduce the risk of transmission. The meeting will be via Zoom starting at 5:30 p.m.

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