Change Takes Effect Monday, March 7
HINGHAM — Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Executive Health Officer Susan Sarni report that the Town of Hingham will lift its mask policy starting next week, making masking optional in all non-school municipal buildings in town.
The decision, announced on Friday, March 4, lifts a policy that went into effect in September 2021 that required employees and visitors to wear a face covering in all non-school municipal buildings. It will be effective starting Monday, March 7.
The decision to lift the policy was made based on the reduction of the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Hingham, high vaccination rates among Hingham residents, and statewide hospitalization trends.
Further, on Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorized Plymouth County as “low risk” in terms of hospitalizations and hospital capacity.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Hingham and the Hingham Health Department have been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As our case numbers decline and our vaccination rates increase, we are starting to see a shift from a public health emergency response towards a personal responsibility model,” Executive Health Officer Sarni said. “As we pull back on requirements we are encouraging everyone to continue to use all of the tools that we now have to stay COVID-free and keep your family healthy.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) advises that fully vaccinated people continue to wear a mask indoors if:
- They have a weakened immune system
- They have increased risk due to age or underlying medical conditions
- Someone in their household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated
DPH also recommends that residents who are not fully vaccinated wear a face covering or mask to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to other people. Finally, DPH notes that all residents are required to continue wearing face coverings when using public transportation and in medical settings.
The Hingham Health Department encourages residents to do the following to stay safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Get Vaccinated - Be aware of your vaccination status and be up-to-date depending on the COVID vaccine you received.
- Get Tested - If you become symptomatic, stay home and get tested. If your test is positive, follow the guidelines for isolation and quarantine. For the most up-to-date guidelines, visit mass.gov or call the Hingham Health Department at 781-741-1466. The Town also has a supply of in-home test kits available for residents.
- Identify Close Contacts - If you do test positive, notify anyone you have spent more than 15 minutes with in an indoor setting during the 48 hours before the positive test or the onset of symptoms.
- Wear A Mask - Follow the current guidance on masking depending on where you are going, and your immune system. Make a personal decision based on the risk level.
Vaccination Clinic Available
Residents are invited to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic being hosted by the Cohasset Board of Public Health on Saturday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Willcutt Commons. Anyone 18 and over eligible for a first dose, second dose or booster of the Moderna vaccine is encouraged to attend.
Residents who have questions about COVID-19 and new mandates in town can contact the Hingham Health Department at 781-741-1466. Residents can also view the Town’s COVID-19 Update Page.