More Massachusetts cities are issuing mask mandates amid a rise in coronavirus cases, with Brockton and Revere the latest to instate them.
Brockton officials announced that all employees and visitors will be required to wear masks in public buildings and maintain six feet of social distance, regardless of vaccination status.
Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan cited the recent rise in active COVID-19 cases in a Facebook post Monday explaining the new mandate to residents.
"It’s extremely important. I'll tell you why - on the 12th of July, we had 12 current cases. Today we have 140," Sullivan said. "So the uptick is real, the variant, the delta, the breakthrough cases - they're real.”
Revere made a similar announcement with stronger language, demanding masks in municipal buildings like City Hall and the police station. Other municipalities have taken comparable steps amid a rise in cases.
"Everybody should wear masks. It saves lives," said Wilhelmina Hinds of Revere.
"If you're vaccinated, or not vaccinated, you still have to wear a mask," Sullivan said.
Needham Senator Becca Rausch has just filed a bill requiring mask wearing in all public schools for the upcoming year.
Told there will be people who are going to have a problem with this, Rausch responded, "Yes, there will be opposition. But I have actually lost count at this point of the number of people who reached out in support and with gratitude."
Rausch blasted Gov. Charlie Baker for "playing Russian roulette with the health of families" and for not following CDC guidelines.
"Had the Baker administration done the right thing at the outset, we wouldn't be having this conversation," she said.
At an afternoon event in Revere, Baker said he "fully expects that most communities will do what they think makes the most sense for them."
Baker has "strongly recommended" kids in kindergarten through sixth grade wear masks this year, but he says he does not support a mandate.
"I'm not going to get into making decisions that I believe in many cases ought to be driven at the end of the day by the folks at the local level who know those communities best," he said. "That said, it's a strong recommendation for K-6 that kids should wear masks."
Health officials in Provincetown issued an indoor mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated people amid a spike in COVID-19 cases linked to the Fourth of July. Shortly after, Nantucket joined Provincetown in advising people on the island to start wearing masks indoors and when social distancing in public isn't possible.