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Brattleboro again mulls mask mandate in public spaces

August 16, 2021 GMT

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — Officials in the town of Brattleboro are considering whether to again require masks in indoor public spaces because of rising cases from the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“We are trying to figure out what is the best way to keep us all safe, encourage vaccinations and keep the medical professionals safe, while we go about our business and our lives,” Select Board Chairwoman Elizabeth McLoughlin told the Brattleboro Reformer on Sunday.

A special Select Board meeting is planned Tuesday on the potential mask mandaate. There will be limited seating in the meeting room with seats spaced at least 6 feet apart and participants will need to wear a face covering or participate remotely through Zoom, according to the agenda item.

The board voted to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated people in indoor spaces in June.

“Windham County has now moved to ‘substantial’ levels of community transmission,” Select Board member Daniel Quipp said last week on social media. “This means everyone should wear a mask indoors in public.”

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Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell said in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance is clear: All people should “wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.”

Board members are hearing from business owners and community members, and gathering data from the state and CDC, McLoughlin said.

“My thinking is that encouraging mask wearing is of benefit and not that much of an inconvenience, but I am open to all views,” she said. “We want to hear from residents and business owners alike. We will listen, we will have this discussion in a public forum and then decide.”

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Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic