Northampton Health Department advising businesses to require masks while indoors

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton is discussing updating their indoor mask policy after a recent and rapid uptick in COVID-19 cases.

As COVID-19 cases rise in Massachusetts due to the Delta variant, local communities are reevaluating mask guidance for businesses.

“The past year has been like a horror show, with going through all these things, so I have mixed feelings about having to wear the mask but if we have to and if it’s going to save lives than we need to do it,” said Jim Sullivan of Northampton.

The Northampton Board of Health noticed an uptick in cases and outbreaks in local businesses after watching the community transmission rate rapidly climb from low to moderate.

Jennifer Ablard of Northampton told 22News, “There’s no way to tell who’s been vaccinated and who’s not been vaccinated. From the beginning, that was a terrible solution to not wearing masks so fine, everyone needs to be wearing masks.”

They’re encouraging local employees to be vaccinated as soon as possible and asking businesses to require masks for both customers and employees regardless of vaccination status. The city says it’s important to note that people from other counties visit and work at businesses in Hampshire County, so the city can’t act as if they’re isolated from places of high or substantial transmission rates.

“All adults. everyone who is vaccinated and not vaccinated need to wearing masks until these kids are vaccinated,” said Ablard. “You come down on Saturday, on the weekend, and there’s obviously lots of people here who are not from the area. So we are getting people coming in, bringing their cooties with them.”

The Board of Health will be having a public meeting via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon to discuss mandatory face covering requirements in local businesses and public health strategies.

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