Massachusetts officially declared its COVID-19 public health emergency over May 11. Along with it came the end of mask mandates in healthcare settings — the last mandate in Massachusetts. Now, masks are only recommended for those with weakened immune systems or at greater risk of illness.
Some businesses in Greater Boston, however, still require customers to mask up or strongly encourage them to. These businesses have kept their mandates in order to protect immunocompromised employees and customers. Masks requirements also help to prevent an outbreak of COVID among the employees and keep businesses open.
“If we hadn’t been all wearing masks in our shared spaces, I would have closed,” said Emily Tirella, owner of Somerville craft store Make & Mend, to the Boston Globe about an employee being exposed to COVID.
In other states, the opposite is happening, with businesses banning employees from wearing masks. In-N-Out will no longer allow employees in five states to wear a mask without a doctor’s permission starting Aug. 14.
Regardless of a business’s decision to require masks, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says masks are a “a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19.” They recommend that those who choose to continue masking choose the “most protective mask [they] can” and to make sure they are wearing it properly.
Tell us: Do you agree with businesses that have mask mandates? What steps should businesses take in order to protect immunocompromised employees and customers from COVID-19? Respond to the survey below or e-mail [email protected], and your response may be featured in a future Boston.com article.
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