Mask Mandate posted – effective this Thursday (Updated)

by beth on January 11, 2022

Post image for Mask Mandate posted – effective this Thursday (Updated)

Above: A (much large) banner promoting the Mask Mandate has been posted on the Town’s website.

As I previewed, the Board of Health planned to issue a Mask Mandate that will be effective on Thursday, January 13th. As of mid-afternoon, the detailed policy still hadn’t been posted or emailed. But the “Mask Advisory” image on the Town website has been replaced with the above image summarizing the Mask Mandate.

It reads:

In response to the spread of the Delta variant and the emerging Omicron variant, the Board of Health voted on January 10th to mandate all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering one indoors (and not in your own home). Those in violation of a mandate could be fined up to $100/violation. Those under two years old, those with certain medical conditions, mental health conditions or disabilities (especially anyone who cannot safely unmask without assistance), and those communicating with someone hearing impaired are exempt.

Effective January 13, 2022

If a more detailed policy is issued, I’ll update this post to include the information.

Updated (1/11/22 5:47 pm): As promised, now that the detailed policy is posted, I’m sharing it. The full language is:

In response to the highly contagious Omicron COVD-19 variant and high number of cases in the community, the Southborough Board of Health met on January 10, 2022 to discuss a mask mandate. Given the high volume of cases, the Board of Health is requiring that everyone regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings in Southborough to try to minimize the spread.

Effective Date: 12:01 January 13, 2022 masks covering the nose and mouth are required for all individuals ages 2 and above at public indoor spaces within the town of Southborough. The board will revisit within 30 days.

Public indoor spaces including but not limited to:

  • Restaurants, bars, retail food stores
  • Healthcare facilities, gyms, recreational facilities
  • Houses of Worship
  • Retail establishments
  • Event venues
  • Salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage establishments

The most effective masks are multi-layer and should cover the mouth and nose entirely.

Exemptions to mask requirements:

  • No one under the age of 2 years old should wear a mask due to suffocation risk
  • Medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. No one should wear a mask that is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Anyone who is communicating with someone who is hearing impaired and relies on seeing the mouth for communication

Enforcement

Pursuant to MGL Chapter 111; Sections 31 and 104 the Board of Health and authorized agents have the ability to enact and enforce an emergency regulation and order for a mask mandate. Pursuant to MGL Chapter 111 Section 104 and Chapter 40, section 21D, in addition to any other remedy available in law or equity, a violation of any provision of this order may result in a $100 fine and/or a fine of not more than one thousand dollars in accordance with MGL Chapter 111 Section 31. If necessary, the Board of Health may rely on the Southborough Police Department for assistance in enforcement.

*Issued January 11, 2022 per the Southborough Board of Health

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Kendall January 13, 2022 at 5:26 PM

I was running errands today and noticed that the businesses I went into, including Walgreens had no signs requiring masking. Did the Board of Health provide adequate notice to everyone?

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2 Amy January 14, 2022 at 11:16 AM

I went in without a mask to Wegmans and they didn’t say anything. I went into Dunkin Donuts and they said I needed a mask. I said no thank you and took my coffee and left. I feel bad for the store owners and employees who don’t want this. I think everyone knows this is just theater at this point because all our health officials policies were so useless they still try to act as if they are doing anything meaningful.

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3 beth January 14, 2022 at 11:31 AM

I feel bad for the store employees subjected to exposure from people like you who believe that your feelings are more important than theirs.

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4 Interested January 14, 2022 at 12:26 PM

I was in the convenient store on Main St. on Tuesday evening (not sure if it’s still Mauro’s Market since they never replaced the sign after renovations) and asked the employee if they had received any notice of the town wide mask mandate that was going in to effect on Wednesday. He said that he had not been told about it and thanked me for the information.
I did wonder how the word was getting out. Did the town send a letter out to businesses alerting them of the mandate? Is there any guidance or protocol on how to enforce adherence of the mask mandate?

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