Beverly drops mask mandate, will other communities follow?

BEVERLY, Mass. — The Board of Health in Beverly voted to allow then mask mandate to expire as of 11:59 Wednesday night. Across the state, government tracked data on cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have fallen sharply over the past month.

As a result, masks are now optional in Beverly. Neighboring Salem has a mandate that is scheduled to continue through March 8th. Plymouth revisits its mask mandate every two weeks.

In recent weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its mask guidance to emphasize high-quality masks such as N-95 and KN-95 masks while maintaining its stance that universal masking in schools is important. That said, two weeks ago, two Boston area doctors began pushing for in-school masking to be optional.

Lowell’s Board of Health also voted to allow the city’s mask mandate to expire for most buildings except schools and city buildings.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has mask mandate that runs through the end of February.

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