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North Adams rescinds mask advisory and will instead look to the CDC for guidance

Masked men leave Walmart pushing cart

The North Adams Board of Health has rescinded a public health advisory that said masks in indoor public spaces were "strongly advised." Instead, the city will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, which depend on case counts.

NORTH ADAMS — Whether masking is recommended in the city now is up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The North Adams Board of Health rescinded an advisory it issued with the mayor’s office late last year that said masks in indoor public spaces were “strongly advised” for those older than 5, even for people who were vaccinated fully.

The Board of Health decided at a brief meeting Wednesday afternoon that the city instead will follow masking guidance from the CDC. Currently, the CDC labels the community level in the county as low, and the CDC recommends wearing a mask based on personal preference and “informed by your personal level of risk.”

If the level increases, that CDC recommendation changes.

Conditions over the past few months have changed, said board member Kevin Lamb, and the policy change will bring the city in line with other communities in the area and around the country.

Cases of COVID-19 across the county have decreased significantly over the past few months. Over the past 10 days, there were eight cases of COVID-19 in the city, Heather DeMarsico, North Adams’ health director, told the board at its meeting. “Most of them have been from schools.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6272.

Reporter

Greta Jochem, a Report for America Corps member, joined the Eagle in 2021. Previously, she was a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is also a member of the investigations team.

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