Worcester Board Of Health Votes To Lift Indoor Mask Mandate

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WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Worcester Board of Health voted to lift the city's mask mandate during its meeting on Monday night.

In a 3 to 2 vote, the Board of Health decided to let the city's current indoor mask mandate expire on Feb. 18, the day it was already set to end. This split vote came after passionate discussion from the public and board members on both sides of the issue.

Gary Rosen spoke during the meeting in favor of lifting the mask mandate and said with cases of COVID dropping in Massachusetts, people are ready to move on from mask-wearing.

"So many people here in the city of Worcester have reached a point where we're very tired," he said. "We're mentally, emotionally, and socially tired."

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Board of Health member Chareese Allen voted no on the plan to lift the mandate, citing low booster and vaccination numbers.

"We may go through another surge of COVID because we don't have enough boosted population, and we have a lot of the minority communities that are not vaccinated," Allen said. "It's a really big concern for me."

There have been 272,738 vaccine doses given out in Worcester, which is significantly behind the 1,017,459 given out in Boston.

Although the board voted to lift the city's indoor mask mandate, they voted to keep the school mask mandate in place that was due to expire at the end of the month. Worcester Public Schools reported 321 positive COVID cases from students and staff the week of Jan. 28, down from 609 the previous week.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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