Indoor Mask Mandates Begin in Lexington and Lincoln; Waltham and Wellesley Delay
As of this morning, (12:01 am, Wednesday August 18), face coverings are required for all individuals aged two and above in all indoor public spaces in Lexington. The town of Lincoln also announced an indoor mask mandate on Monday, August 16 with effective date of Friday, August 20 at 12:01 am. You can see the full text of the Lincoln Town mandate at the end of this post. Note that while Lincoln Schools have not yet communicated the mask mandate within the school system, that is a done deal.
On Monday, the Waltham School Committee voted for a mask mandate in schools after a chaotic meeting where a vocal protestor was escorted to the door. The Waltham Board of Health has delayed a vote on an overall mask mandate in indoor spaces until their next meeting on September 8.
According to the sWellesley Report, this week the Wellesley Board of Health stopped short of an indoor mask mandate, but has discussed an order for town buildings. Subscribe to the sWellesley Report for updates.
Today at 1 pm, the Weston Board of Health will be discussing the draft mask order for Weston Schools (public and private). As far as the Owl can see, the schools order would pre-date any townwide indoor mask order. Before anyone starts down the road of “they’re picking on the kids”, realize that schools start on September 2, and various plans need to be put in place before then. While I have zero inside information, I have to believe that a townwide indoor mask order will follow when the Select Board next meets. Equal opportunity masking.
Stay safe, Weston.
Town of Lincoln announcement, August 16, 2021
In response to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Lincoln and throughout Middlesex County, including break-through cases among those who have been fully vaccinated, the Lincoln Board of Health has voted, in accordance with its authority under M.G.L. chapter 111, sections 31 and 104, to adopt an indoor mask mandate in the Town of Lincoln.
Effective on 12:01 a.m. August 20, 2021, face coverings are required for all individuals aged two years and above in all indoor public spaces, or private spaces open to the public except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability.
- Food service establishment customers may only remove face coverings when seated.
- Indoor performance venue customers may only remove face coverings in the actual act of eating and drinking.
- Indoor bar and dance venue customers may only remove face coverings when seated at tables or seated at a bar. Patrons standing or ordering at the bar must be masked. Guests must be masked on indoor dance floors.
- Lodging guests and workers are required to wear face coverings when inside hallways and common areas.
- Houses of worship are covered by this order.
- Fitness Centers/Health Clubs workers, customers, and visitors are required to wear face coverings during fitness activity, including strenuous activity.
- Personal Services establishments, including but not limited to barber shops, hair and nail salons, all customers and workers are required to wear face coverings, except for skin or beard care that occurs on the face, the customer may temporarily remove the face covering but must immediately put the face covering back on for the remainder of the visit.
- Masks remain mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.
- All entry doors of businesses open to the public must be posted – advising customers that face masks must be maintained inside the establishment. Establishment staff must supervise and enforce this requirement.
This mandate will be in effect whenever the Level of Community Transmission data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Middlesex County is categorized as either “Substantial” or “High” over a consecutive two-week period.
With regard to the Lincoln Schools, the Board of Health has voted to implement a mandatory indoor face mask order that will be in effect with the resumption of school this fall. The details of the School Department’s masking plan will be outlined by the School Superintendent.
We are grateful for the comparably high vaccination rate and strong adherence to public health best practices among our residents.