Masks required in all Town buildings – effective immediately (Updated)

Last night, the Board of Selectmen voted to require everyone to wear face masks inside Southborough buildings. That includes fully vaccinated staff and visitors.

The announcement states that masks must be worn in buildings and at public meetings effective immediately through September 30th.

Town owned buildings include Town Hall, Cordaville Hall/the Senior Center, South Union Building, the Public Safety Building, and the Dept of Public Works Building. (I’d also assume it extends to the Swap Shop sheds at the Transfer Station.)*

According to Southborough Library Director Ryan Donovan, the Library is not enforcing the mask mandate. Any policy on requiring masks of patrons will need to be voted on by the Library’s elected Board of Trustees. (They are scheduled to discuss the issue at their August 24th meeting.)**

Library staff are currently strongly encouraged to wear masks as they have seen a recent rise in patrons wearing them. Donovan explained to me that one issue that would complicate an immediate mask requirement is they no longer have masks in stock to give out to patrons who arrive without one.

Today’s posted announcement appears to be geared mainly to the public, rather than Town employees. (That’s not to say that it doesn’t apply to them. Just that there weren’t any details on rules/leeway for employees eating and drinking.)

I have yet to watch last night’s meeting, so I’m not sure why the September 30th end date was selected. However, selectmen are scheduled to reconvene twice in September which will give them the ability to reevaluate their rule before the 30th.

*The Town also owns the three public school buildings in Southborough. However, policies for schools are under the school committees’ purview. The schools already have a policy requiring masks inside their buildings. And, as I posted earlier today, the administration is in the midst of determining what their mask protocols will be for the coming school year.

**Updated (8/19/21 11:33 am): Donovan briefed me on the situation at the Library. Initially, I assumed that it was covered by the Town’s announcement.

(image cropped from Town website)

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