Chelsea High School Becomes First Mass. District To Require Masks In 2023

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CHELSEA, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — With Suffolk County once again designated as "High Risk" for COVID-19 by federal officials, Chelsea Public Schools implemented mask mandate, becoming the first Massachusetts school district to do so in 2023.

In addition to Suffolk, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also noted the following counties are at high risk of COVID-19 infections (as of January 10):

  • Barnstable County
  • Bristol County
  • Dukes County
  • Franklin County
  • Middlesex County
  • Nantucket County
  • Norfolk County
  • Plymouth County
  • Worcester County

According to school officials, the Chelsea School Committee voted to lift the last mask mandate in April of 2022, provided that the CDC classification for Suffolk does not rise in risk. With the risk level increasing, the CPS says masks must be worn at all times within school buildings except when eating or drinking.

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At surrounding businesses, the potential of a COVID-19 spike is garnering differing opinions. WBZ's Carl Stevens spoke to a few business owners for their thoughts.

"It's never going to go away, it's a matter of how we address it, our safety measurements, and whether we're prepared for it to come back again and tackle anything that comes with it. We're not concerned," said El Dorado Cafe's Co-Owner Cesar Camacho.

On the flip side, Grettel Bonilla owns Producto de Botania, a flower shop on Broadway Street, and says she is worried that COVID-19 will make a comeback in the city.

"We don't know what's causing more sickness in people, so we don't know what to do. We don't know what's coming. It's worrying me because we don't know what to expect in business and the economy," Bonilla said.

WBZ's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.

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