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City of Springfield to Expand Mask Policy

Springfield, MA – By order of the Department of Health and Human Services and Board of Health, the City of Springfield will expand its mask policy and will now require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or face covering in all municipal buildings for staff and visitors.  This mandate will take effective Wednesday, September 1, 2021, and will remain in place for 90 days.  After such time, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Board of Health will review the situation and make the recommendation on either lifting or keeping the mask mandate based on the COVID-19 trends over that time period.  If, prior to the 90-day timeframe, COVID-19 cases decrease substantially a review will be taken prior to the 90 days.

 

The City of Springfield continues to see a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases, especially in our younger population.  For the week of August 22, 2021, the City reported 517 cases, with 52% or 269 of the 517 case being under the age of 30.  Below is the weekly breakdown of cases over the past five weeks.

 

Week of July 25, 2021 122
Week of August 1, 2021 279
Week of August 8, 2021 374
Week of August 15, 2021 477
Week of August 22, 2021 517

 

Mayor Sarno states, “Upon the continued review of our positive COVID-19 cases and on the recommendation of Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, the City of Springfield will mandate masks/face coverings be worn in all city buildings, by staff and especially visitors for the next 90 days, staring September 1st.  Again, and especially to protect and preserve our workforce, as we have been open for business for quite a while, and while our employee numbers are good, we do get hundreds of visitors daily in all of our city buildings.  As we’ve done with our schools, we will do with municipal buildings now to continue to ‘starve this new COVID-19 Delta variant’.  We will continue to push getting vaccinated for this has truly become a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

 

HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “As we continue to see a troubling trend of increasing cases, the City of Springfield is updating our mask policy.  For the next 90 days, masks or face coverings will be required for all employees and visitors in all city buildings.  After such time, we will review the data and make the recommendations on how to proceed next.  If COVID-19 cases significantly decrease before the 90-day timeframe we will review the policy.  I cannot stress enough, that this virus is here to stay.  This is not a sprint; this is a marathon and unless we get vaccinated we are at risk.  This new Delta variant is no joke and poses a great risk.  We will continue to work with all of our community partners to make sure that this life saving vaccine is readily available for everyone.  There is still much work to do but together I have the full confidence that if we remain vigilant and take the appropriate action that is needed we will get through this stronger and healthier.  Again, I ask all of our residents, young and old, get your vaccine.”

 

Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “We do not make these decisions lightly and take these measures out of an abundance of caution, to be proactive so that we can continue to balance public health and safety, while keeping our economy moving forward.  We are in a much better position to handle this recent uptick in cases with all our prior stockpiling of PPE’s, disinfection cleaning, and retrofitting all our schools and municipal buildings above and beyond the ASHRAE standards with state-of-the-art air flow ventilation systems, and of course, the vaccine ‘is the ace in the hole’.”

 

“We have all worked so hard throughout this pandemic,” Mayor Sarno added.  “The vaccine works.  I implore our residents to please, get vaccinated.  This is about public health, plain and simple, not politics, conspiracy theories or misinformation on social media, which have never stopped and/or cured a medical challenge.  Please get and review the proven facts.”

 

The City of Springfield will continue to monitor the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation and is committed to keeping our residents and business community informed about the latest developments. For more information and to stay updated, please visit the City of Springfield’s website at www.springfield-ma.gov