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The Town of Auburn has implemented a mask order for all municipal buildings. This comes as the Health department has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases over recent weeks. The Delta variant and other variants of the COVID-19 virus has become increasingly prevalent in Massachusetts, throughout the United States and beyond. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released updated guidance on the need for urgently increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage and a recommendation for everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission to wear a mask in public indoor places, even if they are fully vaccinated. Additionally, the State Department of Public Health has a mask advisory in place. There are many individuals that have been vaccinated, and our overall vaccination rate in Auburn is 68%. The Board of Health continues to encourage all individuals to get fully vaccinated. We have seen breakthrough cases and some have impacted our government operations, so we remain vigilant to try to reduce the risk of spread of this virus.
We have a responsibility to the public to keep the town buildings as safe as possible, and the Auburn Board of Health has determined that immediate action is needed in order to prevent or minimize the spread of the Delta and other emerging variants by and among Town employees and visitors to Auburn municipal buildings; and have voted to mandate that all persons, employees and visitors, wear a face covering when inside any municipal building where six (6) foot social distancing cannot be met.
The Town Manager has ordered the following:
1. All town employees in departments under the Town Manager shall wear a face covering while in the performance of their official duties, whether in a town building or working in a non-town building where six (6) foot social distancing cannot be met, regardless of vaccination status.
2. All visitors to municipal buildings over the age of two must wear face coverings while inside municipal buildings where six (6) foot social distancing cannot be met. This includes Town Hall, Library, Senior Center, Department of Public Works, Pakachoag Golf Course Clubhouse, Police Station, and Fire Station or any indoor location where a town program or event is held.
3. Employees may remove the face covering while in the employee’s own private office, provided that the employee is alone. Employees in shared workspaces must wear face coverings where six (6) foot social distancing cannot be met.
4. Social distancing should be practiced in offices and when interacting with the public, especially in break rooms and areas where employees are eating and drinking. When possible, department heads should stagger employee breaks to reduce occupancy in shared break rooms.
5. When two or more employees are inside a town vehicle, the employees shall wear a face covering. Face coverings are not required when employees are alone in town vehicles.
6. The face covering requirement does not apply to employees working outdoors.
7. A face covering may include, but is not limited to, dust masks, scarves, bandanas, and other coverings that cover the person’s nose and mouth.
8. The face covering requirement does not apply to individuals with a medical condition or disability.
This Mask Order will take effect immediately, today, September 29, 2021. This Order will remain in effect whenever the Level of Community Transmission data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Worcester County is categorized as either “Substantial” or “High” over a consecutive two week period. This mandate will no longer be in effect whenever the Level of Community Transmission data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Worcester County is categorized as either “Low” or “Moderate” over a consecutive two week period.
Please respect the mask order, and be mindful to keep a safe distance away from others you are interacting with in municipal buildings. The Town would like to thank you for your cooperation in keeping yourself and others safe during this challenging time. We all have a responsibility to protect our health and those around us, and to do our part to move us out of this pandemic.
Signed Mask Order Effective September 29, 2021