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Salem cancels mask order | Local news

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SALEM — One of Massachusetts’ first cities that mandated outdoor face masks was also the last city to remove it.

Following Governor Charlie Baker’s decision to ease the state’s Maskman date last month, the city’s health commission unanimously voted to revoke the emergency order on Tuesday night. This was the last time a Maskman date was held indefinitely in the Massachusetts community after Brookline officials voted to revoke an order that came into effect on May 21, last week, according to local media reports. ..

According to state guidelines, masks are needed indoors in public spaces and outdoors where social distance is not possible.

“The data we know about outdoor infections is becoming more and more clear, which is very low, linking it to vaccination rates and to the overall positive rate of Salem. These are encouraging factors. That’s what Salem’s Health Commission Chairman Jeremy Schiller said. “I tend not to be fit by nature, but in this sense it makes sense.”

The city declared a public health emergency on March 20, last year, mandating the use of masks at the entrances of restaurants, businesses, and apartment buildings. That order expanded frequently as the pandemic intensified throughout the year. As the business resumed in July last year and tourists began to appear on the streets, the Health Commission further renewed the order to require face masks throughout downtown and in all city parks.

“I think we put the greatest value on science and data. It’s not necessarily fear or concern, it’s what data and science are for us,” Schiller began an hour-long discussion. “It seems clear to me that the risk of spreading outdoors without a mask is low, so I think the governor and the CDC have lifted their mission, and Salem should go in that direction. I tend to think. “

In Salem, there has been debate about tourists filling downtown streets during the summer and autumn Haunted happening seasons.

It became a problem under the pandemic, and visitors from the country’s territories enforced various health regulations and faced higher infection rates, including in areas with weak vaccination attitudes. Out-of-state visitors were much more common than Massachusetts visitors at some Salem destinations.

With increasing attention to conflicting visitors on mask requirements, city officials held a deescalation training last week to outline how to handle the issue before police involvement was needed. Experts suggested that companies provide masks after accepting and inferring unmasked guests, and some members of the business community told authorities not to put employees at the forefront of mask enforcement. I asked.

Board member Geraldine Yuhas said feedback from residents before the meeting was split prematurely by canceling the mask order. Comments at the meeting were also on both sides of the issue.

Greisen Martinez Casio, a resident of Boston Street, said: “How do you help the business community to carry out Maskman Dates when they are lifted outdoors and needed in an indoor environment such as a store or restaurant?”

To that end, city health agent Dave Greenbaum said city health, police and fire department staff “distribute signs to all downtown businesses, saying they need masks.” Each business will also get a box of masks to offer to its customers.

“We are willing to act and do everything we can to make sure that every company is aware of the rules and that our patrons are also aware of the rules,” Greenbaum said. Stated.

Benjamin Adam, co-owner of Vampfang on Essex Street, said he supported the maskman date going down after asking only one person to leave the store in the past year.

“I think we can get out of this fine as long as we business owners can manage our space,” Adam said.

Towards the end of the meeting, the Board will consider the remaining steps of the state’s reopening plan, effectively meeting the state’s goal of fully reopening on August 1, if unchanged and safe. I agreed.

visit bit.ly/3o7qDDM To read the live coverage of this conference.

To reply to this story or suggest another story, Dustin Luca (978-338-2523) or [email protected]..Follow him in facebook.com/dustinluca Or on Twitter @ DustinLucaSN.

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