Should masks be mandated in West Springfield ahead of The Big E?

Local News

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We are just four days away for the start of the largest fair in New England, and a question still remains, will the town of West Springfield mandate mask wearing?

Preparations are well-underway at the fairgrounds, vendors have been in and out all day getting ready.
And while communities surrounding The Big E have implemented a mask mandate, we are still waiting to hear if West Springfield will do the same.

The largest fair in New England is back after a year-long hiatus because of COVID-19. Vendors have been busy getting their food stands and exhibits ready for opening day this Friday. For many, this is a day they have been waiting months for.

“It’s good to be here. Good to be back at the fairgrounds. We missed it. We try to get everything together and make sure we are ready to go on Friday.” Humberto Serra from the Butcher Boys says.

The West Springfield Board of Health is set to hold a hearing on an indoor mask mandate Wednesday.
The proposed regulations would require face coverings in all indoor public places as well as private places open to the public for those over the age of 2.

“More communities are requiring that people wear masks in indoor settings. The City of Springfield announced last week it is requiring people to wear masks. Now the question is, will the town next door do the same. Regardless, vendors are ready.” says Robert Carter, owner of Bob Carter Custom Design.

He’s had his booth at the fairgrounds in the craft common selling his Portrait Painting for years. After taking a financial hit last year, he’s ready for the return, mask mandate or not. “We have all COVID protections. We are giving out free masks here at custom designs. We will have COVID barriers up.” he adds.

According to the state Department of Public Health, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Hampden County over the previous two weeks was more than double that for the state as a whole.

A decision should be made on the mask mandate in the coming days.

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