Falmouth is lifting the downtown Woods Hole and Falmouth outdoor mask mandate. The move will reverse the decision by the board of health and the select board, which resulted in the creation of mandatory mask zones in Woods Hole’s Water Street and The Main Street in Falmouth. The vote was done during a meeting by the select board on May 24.
This came after a discussion with Scott McGann, the Health Agent in Falmouth. He expressed a preference to address mask mandates with the guidance of the state that expires on Saturday, May 29.
The mandate will come with a mask advisory, warning the public that the corona pandemic is still a significant threat, and covering one’s face can help in preventing its spread.
Samuel H. Patterson, a select board member, said there was a need for the town to remain vigilant.
He said that they are supposed to be concerned with the welfare of a part of their population that may be susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and visitors from various parts of the world who may not have access to vaccines.
According to Mr McGann, Falmouth will continue to report low rates of COVID-19 this summer. He pointed to the low infection rates last summer when vaccinations were not available.
The board of health had earlier approved removing the mandatory outdoor mask zones. It voted to end mandatory masks in public buildings in Falmouth. However, the select board rejected the move. The board members agreed to deal with the issue in their next meeting.
The mandates are being lifted amid the start of Memorial Day weekend. This coincides with the decision by the state to virtually lift all the restrictions on gatherings and businesses.
In addition, the state aims to vaccinate at least 4.1 million in Falmouth by the first week of June.