Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris Announce Citywide Mask Mandate will expire Monday, February 28, 2022
Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announced today that the citywide mask mandate will expire on Monday, February 28, 2022. The mask mandate for the Springfield Public Schools will remain in effect through the month of March.
Over the past five-weeks, the City of Springfield has seen a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases. For the week of January 9, 2022, the city reported 2,773 cases, while for the week of February 13, 2022, the city reported 279. Below is the weekly breakdown of cases over the past five weeks.
|Week of January 9, 2022||2,773|
|Week of January 16, 2022||2,371|
|Week of January 23, 2022||1,440|
|Week of January 30, 2022||707|
|Week of February 6, 2022||453|
|Week of February 13, 2022||279|
The City of Springfield continues to see a steady improvement in citywide vaccination rates. According to the State Department of Public Health’s (DPH) weekly COVID-19 municipality vaccination data, as of February 17, 2022, the City of Springfield has 70% of residents with at least one-dose and 60% are fully vaccinated.
Mayor Sarno states, “After reviewing the recent COVID-19 trends with Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, we are happy to report that we have seen five consecutive weeks of a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases. Based on this news, our citywide vaccination rates steadily increasing and the positive trends we are seeing, Commissioner Caulton-Harris and I are confident that we can let this citywide mask mandate expire on Monday, February 28, 2022. We have all worked so hard and our efforts have worked in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. It is important to not to ostracize anyone who wishes to continue to wear a mask when this mask mandate expires, as they may feel safe wearing them still and/or they may have a compromised immune system.”
“This has been a delicate balancing act of trying to keep our economy moving forward while listening to our local medical professionals, especially Baystate Health President and CEO Dr. Mark Keroack and Mercy Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Roose. It is encouraging to see that not only are our citywide COVID-19 cases significantly declining but that our hospitals are seeing some relief too. We must remain vigilant as we continue to work together to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic while getting our economy and business community energized.”
HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “I want to applaud our residents who have worked so hard throughout this pandemic. It is because of our joint efforts working together that we are able to see this significant decrease in positive cases and we can let the mask mandate expire. The City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services will continue to monitor and review COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates and we will make any future recommendations and/or mandates necessary for the betterment of everyone based on public health and safety.”
“We also want to encourage those who may have a compromised or a weakened immune system, at an increased risk for severe disease because of age or underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system and is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated, to continue to wear your mask. Again, this COVID-19 is here to stay so it is important for everyone to get vaccinated and their booster shot,” Commissioner Caulton-Harris continued.
The City of Springfield implemented the citywide mask mandate effective January 3, 2022 due to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and low vaccination numbers. Over the past month, both rates have significantly improved allowing for the mask mandate to expire with no extension. However, the City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services and the Board of Health reserve the right to issue any changes to citywide public health policy in the future should the situation require it.
It is important to note that the mask mandate for the Springfield Public Schools will remain in effect through the month of March. Additionally, per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, all people in Massachusetts, regardless of vaccination status, are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including on public transportation and in health care facilities.
Furthermore, senior centers and neighborhood libraries will return to their normal hours of operations, however not all services may be available. Please check in with your local neighborhood senior center and library to confirm what programs are currently being offered.
In addition, rapid at-home COVID-19 testing kits will only be available at the New North Citizens Council, South End Community Center, Clodo Concepcion Center (Greenleaf Community Center), and the Department of Health and Human Services. Locations, days and hours listed below:
- Dept. of Health & Human Services – 311 State Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday
- New North Citizens Council – 2455 Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday
- South End Community Center – 99 Marble Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday
- Clodo Concepcion Center (Greenleaf Community Center) – 1187 Parker Street, from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on Thursdays
The City of Springfield continues to offer a vaccination clinic at the Department of Health and Human Services every Tuesday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Residents can also get their vaccination and booster shot at any one of the many vaccination clinics throughout the city, including at your local pharmacy stores such as CVS and Walgreens.
For more information on the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 statistical information, please visit the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 situational update webpage at: Health and Human Service COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Statistical Information: City of Springfield, MA (springfield-ma.gov)
For information and locations of vaccination clinics, please visit the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments and Clinics webpage at: COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment and Clinics: City of Springfield, MA (springfield-ma.gov)