Local News

Pittsfield repeals mask mandate

By Brett Yates

On Feb. 17, the Pittsfield Select Board rescinded its townwide mask mandate for public spaces.

Gov. Phil Scott signed a law in late November to give municipalities the right to require the wearing of facial protection in indoor gathering places, including businesses, to slow the spread of Covid-19. The Pittsfield Select Board imposed the rule locally on Dec. 2.

The surge in infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant earlier this winter has since abated, with the Vermont Department of Health reporting on Feb. 16 that the seven-day average of daily new cases had fallen to its lowest level since early November.

“I think, with the cases dramatically dropping, a lot of municipalities are dropping the mask rule, and I would propose that Pittsfield do the same,” chair Ann Kuendig suggested.

The board’s other members, Joyce Stevens and AJ Ruben, approved the motion.

The end of the townwide mandate doesn’t mean that visitors to municipal buildings won’t still, in some cases, need to mask up.

“In town buildings, like the town office, if the person in charge of that space wants to institute a mask rule, we want to permit them to do that,” Ruben clarified.

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