SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Tuesday that a city-wide indoor mask mandate will go back into effect on Monday due to rising COVID-19 cases.
The Mayor made this decision because the city saw 451 positive COVID-19 cases Tuesday, an all-time high. City officials said that they are trying to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Both the Mayor and Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris expected numbers to rise after the new year.
Western Mass News asked Mayor Sarno why the city is waiting until Monday to put the indoor mask mandate into effect if people are planning to be indoors for New Year’s Eve.
“Giving a few days of leeway time for the businesses and other entities to properly prepare for the public health protocols,” Mayor Sarno explained. “But as Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris has indicated, we strongly urge that you should be wearing masks period, and if possible, you should really be gathering with smaller type crowds or with people that you know – close friends and family – that you know have been vaccinated or have negative testing.”
The mask mandate will be in place for at least the next 60 days.
Western Mass News reached out to local businesses to see how the community feels about these new measures. We went to Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill to ask the owner how he feels about having to ask people to wear a mask again.
“So if this, the mask mandate will prevent us from getting away from keeping the doors open and keeping the dining room open, I am thrilled about that,” Nadim Kashouh told us. “I don’t want to go back to shutting down, and then end up going to 25 percent then moving it up to 50 percent. So with this, it will be great. Hopefully, we’ll keep things rolling with the way they are right now.”
Kashouh told Western Mass News that he does not have a problem with politely asking people to wear a mask, as he believes people will be understanding.
Based on the numbers in Springfield Tuesday, Caulton-Harris said that she believes we are in for a very difficult January.
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