RICHMOND — The Board of Health is urging town leaders to require full COVID-19 vaccination for all municipal employees.
Voting unanimously at their Sept. 20 meeting, the five members asked the Select Board to approve the mandate. It also would apply to volunteers who provide services to residents on committees and in other areas.
The advisory, provided to The Eagle by Board of Health Chairman Andrew Fisher, cited new cases of the Delta variant appearing in Berkshire County. The latest state Department of Public Health two-week dashboard, issued Sept. 23, shows no more than four cases in Richmond.
A lively discussion on pandemic-related directives marked the most recent Select Board meeting on Sept. 9. The board’s next meeting is 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The town’s Board of Health also voted 5-0 to issue directives on mask-wearing and social distancing, effective immediately under the authority of state law.
The directives apply to public settings indoors and outdoors:
• Appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved masks or face coverings must be worn at all times by individuals entering all public indoor spaces in Richmond. Public indoor spaces include but are not limited to Town Hall, the Post Office, churches, the library, medical venues and retail establishments.
• Masks are not required for individuals seated at a table and consuming food or drink. The tables, however, must be separated 6 or more feet apart.
• A sign must be posted at the entrance to all indoor public spaces stating that masks are required for entrance.
• Food service establishment employees must wear a mask or face covering when interacting with customers, both indoors and outdoors.
• Masks must be worn at all times by office employees who cannot remain 6 feet or more apart from other employees or from the public.
• Masks are also required at all outdoor public events if the nature of the event does not allow individuals to remain 6 or more feet apart.
• Masks are not required for children under 2. Exceptions also can be granted for individuals who have a medical condition, certified by a physician, that does not allow them to wear a mask.
The Board of Health intends to review the masking directives each time it meets, typically once or twice a month, for possible revisions or cancellations.