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No mask mandate for Springfield, as Sarno says 'getting the shot' key to COVID safety

A KN95 mask and a surgical mask.
Photo illustration by Max Posner/NPR
A KN95 mask and a surgical mask.

Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic Sarno said he's not considering an indoor mask mandate right now.

COVID-19 rates have been on the rise across Massachusetts, and the city's most recent mandate expired November 1. Sarno says cases in Springfield dropped slightly over the last week, but added he'll made masks mandatory again if dictated by health data. And, he says, residents need to do their part.

"Right now, the equation is there, and what's the equation equal to? Getting the shot, getting the vaccine, getting the booster shot,” Sarno said.

Fifty-five percent of Springfield residents are fully vaccinated, compared to more than 70% statewide.

Also Monday, Governor Charlie Baker announced 102 communities including Springfield are in line to receive a shipment of rapid test kits.

Sarno said the city is trying to figure out how best to distribute them and said the city would take "all we can get."

Meanwhile, Greenfield moved ahead with reinstating a mask mandate, effective Monday.

"I fully understand that mask-wearing is tedious," Mayor Roxann Wedegarner said in a press release. "I get it. Sadly the number of cases locally has skyrocketed in recent weeks with no sign of going down."

Greenfield had a mask mandate in place from late September through November 8, before it was lifted.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.