Belmont has issued an interior mask warrant. Now the mayor of Salem wants to institute one in his town
Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said in a statement Monday that she would ask the city’s health board to approve a mask mandate at its meeting on Tuesday. “Our top priority is to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our residents and especially those who cannot yet be vaccinated,” said Driscoll. “The science is clear: masks help reduce transmission and vaccines help reduce the severity of the disease. “
Driscoll said his administration had “no intention at this time to implement capacity restrictions, early closing times or marketing to deter visitors.”
Masks will be required in city buildings on August 23, but Driscoll urges people to use them before then. Salem had 46 cases on Friday, up 16 from the previous week.
COVID tracking data provided by the state’s Department of Public Health shows the problem is occurring statewide. As of June 27, the state recorded just 31 cases of COVID, but the daily total rose to 1,111 last Friday.
Provincetown issued a similar public health warrant on July 26, and it will remain in effect until August 27 “out of caution,” CEO Alex Morse told board members in an email Monday.
Morse said the city’s COVID tracking data has steadily improved since last month’s cluster came to the attention of the CDC. “Active cases in Provincetown continue to decline and the positivity rate has reached a new low,” he wrote, noting that the rate was 15.1% on July 15 but was now 1.4% on Sunday. .
The total number of active cases in the city of Cape Cod on Monday was 23, down from 37 according to the latest data on Friday, he wrote.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 12 counties in Massachusetts – all except Hampshire County in western Massachusetts – with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases triggered by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Belmont is in Middlesex County, which the CDC has identified as having a “substantial” rate of transmission of the coronavirus. The CDC suggested wearing a mask indoors, a position the City of Cambridge has taken but has not gone so far as to impose.
“Cambridge does not have a mask warrant at the moment,” city spokesman Lee Gianetti wrote in an email Monday. “The Cambridge Public Health Department recommends that residents – vaccinated and unvaccinated – wear a mask when indoors outside the home. “
But the town of Belmont has chosen another path. The city’s Select Board and Board of Health have decided the public health risk requires a stronger position. The mandate covers children from the age of 2 and all other age groups.
“Face coverings are required for all persons two years of age and over in all indoor public spaces or private spaces open to the public, except when a person is unable to wear a face cover due to a problem. health or disability, ”according to the city’s website.
In a post on its webpage, the city provided details of the mandate:
– Restaurant customers “can only remove their face coverings when they are seated”.
– People who go to “indoor show” venues “can only remove their face coverings when eating and drinking. “
– There are different rules for people in “indoor bar and dance” places. “Customers can only remove their face coverings when they are seated at tables or sitting in a bar. Customers standing or commanding at the bar must be masked. Guests must be masked on the indoor dance floors.
– Guests and accommodation workers must wear face coverings when “inside hallways and common areas”.
– The mandate applies to religious institutions. “Places of worship are covered by this decree. “
– Workers, clients and visitors to fitness centers / fitness clubs “are required to wear face coverings during fitness activities, including strenuous activities”.
– In hairdressing salons and other “personal service establishments”, “all clients and workers are required to wear face coverings, except for skin or beard care that occurs on the face , the client can temporarily remove the face covering but must immediately put the face covering back on for the remainder of the visit.
– “Masks remain compulsory for all people in public and private transport. “