ANDOVER — As more people get COVID-19 vaccines and spring weather beckons, Andover officials wish to urge residents to continue wearing a mask in public.
Everyone in Massachusetts is still required to wear a mask in public, both indoors and outdoors, even when you are able to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others. Gov. Charlie Baker enacted this mandate in November and it will remain in effect until further notice.
Those who are fully vaccinated, meaning more than two weeks have passed since their final dose, must still wear a mask in public and are advised to also wear a mask at private gatherings where unvaccinated people from more than one household are in attendance.
While the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective at preventing illness from COVID-19, information is still being collected on their effectiveness against certain variants of the virus. As such, continuing to practice COVID-19 prevention measures will still help protect you, as well as anyone you interact with, from illness.
“Masks are an extremely effective tool we have to protect ourselves and others from this virus, and it is imperative that people continue wearing them as they have been for over a year now,” Public Health Director Thomas Carbone said. “You should always wear a mask when in public.”
Additionally, community members are reminded of the following:
- Make sure your mask fits correctly:
- It should fit snugly against the side of your face
- It should be secured with ties or ear loops
- It should have multiple layers of fabric
- It should allow for breathing without restriction
- Fabric face coverings should be cleaned after each use and should be machine washable and dryer safe
- Always remove the mask directly into the laundry or trash and then immediately wash your hands
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your mask
- Masks should not be worn by young children under the age of 2, persons with difficulty breathing, or those who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Private indoor gatherings in Massachusetts continue to be limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
- If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 stay home and contact your primary care physician. To review common symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC, click here.
- Get vaccinated when you’re eligible. The general public becomes eligible for the vaccine in Massachusetts on April 19. Residents can preregister for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by clicking here, check for available vaccination appointments once they are eligible here, and are encouraged to contact their local pharmacies to learn about vaccination opportunities.
Further guidance from the Department of Public Health is available at mass.gov/coveryourface.
The Town continues to closely monitor the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular updates and case information can be found on their official website, at www.Andoverma.gov/coronavirus.