Lowell has become the latest Massachusetts community to enact an indoor mask mandate amid rising COVID-19 numbers.
On Wednesday, the city reported 108 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of more than 23,000 since the pandemic began. The city's vaccination rate is below the state average, as only 61 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
The new indoor mandate applies to people over the age of 2. But not everyone supports this week’s vote by the Lowell Board of Health, especially small business owners who don’t want to have enforce the mandate.
All the same, masks must now be worn in all indoor public spaces, houses of worship and private spaces open to the public like restaurants and other businesses.
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Merchants will have to post signs letting customers know about the mandate.
Restaurant customers will be able to take their masks off when eating and drinking.
There is a $300 fine for violations. The mandate will remain in effect until at least February 2, 2022, at which time the Lowell Board of Health will review the need for an extension.