NORTH READING — As of this past Tuesday, Sept. 14, the town’s Health Department is requiring members of the public to wear a facial covering when entering Town Hall, Flint Memorial Library or the Edith O’Leary Senior Center. This will apply to general business and when attending public meetings but does not apply to individuals with a medical condition that prohibits wearing a facial covering according to Health Director Robert F. Bracey.
Town officials from the Health Department, School Department and Public Safety and Administration continuously monitor COVID-19 vaccination data, case data and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MassDPH), and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to detect trends and then act accordingly in the interest of public health.
Since July 1, the town has been notified of 187 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading. Of those, 102 have been in unvaccinated individuals and 85 cases have been in vaccinated individuals. Vaccinated individuals generally reported mild illness while unvaccinated individuals generally reported more severe illness. MassDPH reported on September 9 that North Reading had a 14-day “Average Daily Incidence rate” of 24.9 cases (per 100,000 residents) and a “14-day Percent Positivity” rate of 4.76%. All of this data factored into the town’s decision to re-instate the mask mandate in these public buildings.
Facial coverings may be removed when speaking at a public meeting. Employees will be wearing facial coverings when interacting with the public. To the extent possible, social distancing will also be in effect.
The Health Department will periodically hold virtual vaccine information sessions. The next two session are Wednesday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 29, in anticipation of future vaccine clinics to be held in October and early November (see related story).
“The community is reminded that conducting gatherings outside or conducting activities inside with social distancing in effect, can mitigate the risk of creating ‘close-contact’ situations for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” commented Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto.
Town officials will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination data, case data, and guidance and will provide updates to the community as needed.
Previous Town of North Reading COVID-19 updates may be viewed by visiting: northreadingma.gov/home/news/town-north-reading-coronavirus-covid-%E2%80%93-19-information