BOH Expands Mask Advisory to Include Crowded Outdoor Settings

graphic of crowd wearing masks

The Board of Health has expanded its Covid-19 mask advisory with a recommendation that people wear masks in crowded outdoor settings, in addition to public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccine status.

This advisory takes effect Friday, Sept. 17.

The board’s advisory for outdoor masks in crowded areas was approved at the board’s Sept. 15 meeting and reflects guidance from the CDC. In August, the town advised mask-wearing in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccine status.

“The Board of Health recommends that the community take precautions to mitigate the risk of illness as we head into the flu, RSV, and cold season, while still in the midst of apandemic,” says the board’s statement.

The CDC recommends that “In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with other patrons.”

The Board of Health concurs, and “highly encourages wearing masks in crowded outdoor public events, where social distancing cannot be maintained, and when attending with anyone outside of your household.”

Event planners and/or any organization of large indoor and outdoor gatherings that are open to the public are encouraged to consult with the Health Department to ensure appropriate precautionary measures are implemented.

The board urges the public to continue proven public health measures such as frequently wiping down surfaces, hand washing, and maintaining a six-foot distance while dining and/or unmasked.

Signage templates with the town’s masking recommendations can be requested through the Great Barrington Health Department. Questions can be directed to the Board of Health or to the board at its next scheduled meeting.

This advisory will be reviewed routinely at the monthly Board of Health.