ADVISORY REGARDING FACE COVERINGS AND CLOTH MASKS

Effective Monday, August 30, 2021: The Holbrook Board of Health has issued a mask advisory in light of guidance on face coverings and masking of fully vaccinated individuals while indoors, as issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

 

Whereas:
• Norfolk County, Massachusetts is categorized as having a high COVID-19 community spread
• Town of Holbrook and surrounding areas remain below 80% of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19
• The highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant accounts for nearly all new COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
It is strongly recommended by the Holbrook Board of Health that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, over the age of 2 years wear a face covering or mask while indoors in public spaces. A summary of current CDC and MDPH guidance and responses to frequently asked questions may be found below.


Summary CDC and MDPH Guidance as of July 30, 2021:
In response to the recent spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued updated guidance regarding the use of face coverings and cloth masks by individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The CDC’s updated guidance does recommend that even fully vaccinated persons wear masks or face coverings when indoors if other risk factors are present.


In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) advises that fully vaccinated people should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in their own home) to accomplish the following goals:
• Maximize protection of vulnerable individuals from the Delta variant.
• Maximize protection if you have a weakened immune system.
• If you are at increased risk from the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant.
• If you have a severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition.
• If someone in your household has a weakened immune system is at increased risk for severe disease or is an unvaccinated adult.

 

Common Questions and Answers:

How do I know if I am a person at an increased risk?
Answer: Ask your primary care provider and they can advise you as to whether you are at increased risk for severe disease from coronavirus infection. Conditions that may put you at increased risk can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html

 

When am I considered fully vaccinated?
Answer:  An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

 

What if I am vaccinated and I get symptoms?
Answer: If a fully vaccinated individual becomes symptomatic, they should be tested and wear a mask until receiving test results. It is advised to practice social distancing.

 

Where and when do I need to wear a face-covering in Massachusetts?
Answer: All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings. See  www.mass.gov/maskrules for a complete list of venues where face coverings remain mandatory.

 

What if I am not vaccinated for Covid-19?
Answer: For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, it is important that you continue to wear a face covering or mask to help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people. People who show no symptoms of illness can still spread COVID-19 to others.

 

If you are not vaccinated, you should:
• Wear a face covering or mask that covers your nose and mouth.
• Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
• Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available.
• Get tested if you have been exposed.
• Get tested if you have symptoms associated with COVID-19.

 

What should I know about wearing a face covering?
Answer: When you wear a face covering or cloth mask, it should:
• Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
• Be secured with ties or ear loops,
• Include multiple layers of fabric,
• Allow for breathing without restriction, and
• Be able to be cleaned without damage or change to shape.

 

How do I get vaccinated or tested for Covid-19 in/around Holbrook?
Answer: Contact the Randolph Covid-19 Resource Center located in the rear parking lot of 128 Pleasant Street in Randolph by calling 781-961-0930 x 1 or by visiting https://www.randolph-ma.gov/home/urgent-alerts/covid-vaccine-testing-calendar.
Testing and immunizations can also be scheduled at most retail pharmacies. You may also contact the Town of Holbrook Board of Health at 781-767-3030 or health_board@holbrookmassachusetts.us.

 

Remember, COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and every individual who is eligible and either works, studies or resides in Holbrook is advised to get vaccinated.

 

Note: This advisory may change based on public health data and further guidance from the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Holbrook Board of Health.

 

Last Updated: September 10, 2021.

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