REVERE, Mass. — The two-week average COVID-19 positivity rate in Revere is 1.5 percent -- about 1/9 of what it was back in January of this year, when it peaked at 13 percent.
But with a highly transmissible variant now dominant, and infections increasing nearly four-fold in a month, the city is apparently taking no chances. This week, Mayor Brian Arrigo announced a mask mandate would go into effect, covering all municipal buildings.
“I had COVID, I had the vaccine and I still get tested regularly,” said Karen Dusevitch, a Revere City Hall worker. “I have an 88-year-old mother at home and I have to protect her so I have no problem wearing the mask.”
Dusevitch likened COVID to two of life’s inevitables: “You can’t fight it. It’s here,” she said. “COVID, death and taxes. Not necessarily in that order.”
Of course, the whole point of the mask mandate is to take COVID out of any death equation. And given the Delta variant’s apparent ability to infect the vaccinated, such that they can transmit the infection, the mandate in Revere -- as well as similar mandates in Boston and Brockton -- apply to the immunized and unimmunized.
“I’d rather wear it just to be safe,” said Orlando Cardona, who was at City Hall to pay his taxes. “Because I do have a wife and kids at the house, too. So I got to think about that, too.”
Outside City Hall, Diana Serrano had an additional reason to mask-up: She’s giving birth to her first child next month -- a boy she’ll name Ethan.
“I have to take care of me, myself, my baby,” she said. “And you know this is still a pandemic.”
Serrano worries about giving birth when the virus is surging.
“I’m really worried,” she said. “Because you know for babies there’s no vaccine.”
Revere won’t likely be the last city to mandate masking up in city buildings. Framingham could be next.
“We’re working on making sure we can go ahead and institute (a mandate) in a way that’s smart and also gives folks adequate notice that we’re making this slight adjustment,” said Mayor Yvonne Spicer.
On Wednesday morning, Brookline announced it will now require face coverings for people entering town buildings, effective Monday, August 9.
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