Falmouth Road Race taking measures to curb COVID-19 risk
BOSTON (AP) — Runners at this weekend’s Falmouth Road Race will be required to wear surgical masks at the starting line, although they will be allowed to remove them while on the 7-mile (11-kilometer) course, race organizers said.
The starting line masks are one of several precautionary measures organizers are using to stem the potential spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus as the race resumes after a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
“We’ve taken extra steps to keep people safe,” Dr. John Jardine, the race’s medical program coordinator, told the Cape Cod Times.
On the course, runners are being asked to avoid running in packs, and maintain a 3-foot (1-meter) distance between individuals.
Masks will also be required in most indoor areas, including buses that take runners to Woods Hole, and medical tents. Water station volunteers will wear gloves.
There will also be no finish line gathering.
This year’s race, scheduled for Sunday, has 8,000 registered runners, down from the typical 12,800 participants.
UMASS FACULTY VACCINES
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is now requiring all staff and faculty to get vaccinated before returning to campus and requiring face coverings while indoors, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said.
The university had previously said it would not require fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors, but shifted its stance “in concert with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, issued in response to the concerning delta variant,” Subbaswamy said in a statement Monday.
The mask requirement starts Wednesday and will be reviewed in mid-September.
“Indoor mask wearing is particularly important to mitigate the spread from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers who are not aware they are infectious, and when other public health measures such as social distancing are not possible,” the chancellor said.
The school had previously required students to be fully vaccinated for the fall semester, but had only “strongly recommended” shots for employees.
VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS
The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by about 1,100 Tuesday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 13.
The new numbers pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 17,743 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to more than 682,200.
There were more than 330 people reported hospitalized Tuesday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 75 in intensive care units.
The average age of those who have died from COVID-19 was 74.
The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.
Nearly 4.4 million people in Massachusetts have been fully immunized against COVID-19.