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Erving Board of Health enacts townwide mask mandate

  • Welcome signs along Route 2 in Erving. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/16/2022 4:27:47 PM
Modified: 1/16/2022 4:26:43 PM

ERVING — In response to a growing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the region, the Board of Health has enacted a townwide mask mandate for all indoor places where the public is invited.

“The COVID cases have increased,” said Betsy Sicard, clerk to the Board of Health. “We have a registered nurse on our board now. He was expressing concerns around people in the hospital and the shortage of staff. We’re trying to keep people out of the hospital if we can. We’re trying to cut down on the spread.”

According to the state Department of Public Health, the town saw 52 cases in the two-week period between Dec. 26 and Jan. 8, the most recent data available.

Sicard said the town had heard from business owners who expressed concern. She said a townwide mandate will offer “substance” to business owners’ individual mask recommendations.

The unanimous vote to enact a policy, which went into effect Jan. 13, will be reviewed again after 30 days.

Per the policy, masks must be worn in all indoor buildings where the public is invited to enter, including privately owned spaces, by all individuals 5 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status.

In establishments such as restaurants or theaters, masks are required unless consuming food or drinks.

Exemptions to the order include office spaces that are open to the public, but where social distancing is possible, or performance artists who are speaking at an event and can be at least 10 feet from any member of the public when performing indoors.

Vented masks are not allowed, according to the policy.

Erving follows a growing list of communities to enact mask mandates in light of the COVID-19 surge that followed the holidays. Most recently, Deerfield enacted a townwide mask mandate that will go into effect Jan. 18. Others with townwide mandates include Greenfield and Montague.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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