BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — As of Friday April 17, Brookline residents are required to wear masks or face coverings anytime they are out in public. Brookline joins a growing list of Massachusetts municipalities requiring people to cover their faces when outside during the pandemic.
Director of Health and Human Services, Dr. Swannie Jett said the requirement to don face coverings will help slow the spread of coronavirus among Brookline's residents, at least 177 of whom has tested positive for COVID-19 so far, and four of whom have died from the virus.
“This is an education tool, first and foremost, and it’s important for residents to remember that they should not be leaving home unless they absolutely must, and that they should be covering their face,” said Dr. Jett. “The only foolproof prevention strategy is staying home and practicing social distancing," said Jett. "But covering your face is a valuable step to take to ensure you and those you come into contact with are protected as much as possible.”
The town's requirement comes after the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines last week, recommending everyone wear cloth face coverings in all public settings. However, the CDC says the public does not need surgical masks or N95 respirators, which should be reserved for healthcare professionals.
The town of Brookline says the newly required face coverings can be made out of "household fabrics and materials," and should "ideally have multiple layers, with a filter such as a coffee filter included between the layers."
To learn more about how to properly make and wear a face covering, click here.
Brookline is at least the ninth municipality in the state to order residents to wear face coverings when outside. Beverly, Framingham, Medford, Middleton, Northampton, North Reading, Peabody, and Westport also require anyone going out in public to cover their mouth and nose.
On Friday, Brookline also announced that over the past two weeks, the National Guard had been deployed to test all residents and staff at two long-term care facilities.
Those at Goddard House and CareOne at Brookline were tested as part of the state's Mobile Testing Program for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and rest homes.
(Photo: Getty Images)