Mask mandate in schools to return


Graphic by Alejandro Gonzalez

Starting Monday, May 23, face-coverings will be required in town-owned indoor spaces in light of rising COVID-19 cases in the town.

Health Commissioner Sigalle Reiss announced on Friday, May 20, that masks will be required beginning Monday, May 23 in indoor areas owned by the town. The order cited a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.

These town-owned spaces include the Public Schools of Brookline (PSB), Brookline Public Libraries and the Brookline Senior Center. PSB will no longer be a mask-friendly environment and face-coverings will be required instead.

The town plans to reconsider the need to mask weekly based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the town and county, in addition to other data. Currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the town is at a high community risk level.

Reiss said when risk levels decrease in the town, the mask mandate will be removed.

“We consistently look at COVID-19 data trends and hope this is a short-term requirement following CDC guidance for counties designated as high risk. The Department will lift the mask requirement once Norfolk County drops to the CDC moderate or low COVID-19 risk levels, or Brookline-specific data suggests that we are no longer in a surge,” Reiss said.

The order does not require private businesses to require masks but encourages them to do so.