COVID

Chelsea issues mask mandate as COVID-19 cases rise

The mask order applies to shared spaces in public buildings and to all private establishments.

People wait in line for food during the pandemic in Chelsea last year. David L Ryan/Globe Staff
Masks & Mandates:

Chelsea, one of the Massachusetts communities hit hardest by COVID-19, will require face masks in all indoor public spaces under a new emergency order, officials said, as cases continue to rise across Massachusetts and the Omicron variant begins to appear in the United States.

The mask mandate applies to everyone over the age of 2 and goes into effect Friday at 5 a.m., according to a Wednesday statement from the Chelsea Board of Health. The statement does not indicate when the emergency order will end. “Masks and face coverings are one of the most effective ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the board said.

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In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Chelsea was among the communities hit hardest, not only in Massachusetts but across the country. In April 2020, the city’s COVID-19 infection rate was one of the highest in the nation, 57 per 10,000 residents, six times the statewide infection rate and greater than the worst days in New York City, according to an October report from the environmental group GreenRoots.

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