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Cambridge to Lift Indoor Mask Mandate in March

In light of declining Covid-19 cases, Cambridge is set to lift its mask mandate beginning March 14.
In light of declining Covid-19 cases, Cambridge is set to lift its mask mandate beginning March 14. By Santiago A. Saldivar
By Katerina V. Corr, Crimson Staff Writer

Cambridge will lift its indoor mask mandate on March 14, the city announced Wednesday.

The mask mandate — which applies to restaurants, places of worship, performance venues, and other places “open to members of the public” — originally took effect in September 2021. In an effort to combat the fast-spreading Omicron variant, the mandate was strengthened in January to include common areas in some residential buildings.

An amended emergency order released Wednesday by Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale and Public Health Commissioner Assaad J. Sayah extended the most recent version of the indoor mask mandate — previously set to expire on Feb. 27 — to March 13 at 11:59 p.m.

The announcement comes as Covid-19 cases are declining rapidly in the greater Boston area.

“Cambridge has seen a steady decrease in reported cases, test positivity, and COVID-19 virus detection in the City’s municipal wastewater monitoring program,” the city’s announcement said.

“According to data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 92 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 76 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, and 45 percent have received a booster dose,” the announcement continued.

After the mandate is lifted, businesses may continue to require that patrons wear masks inside their establishment, the announcement said. Mask requirements for visitors and employees inside municipal buildings will continue through March 27.

Cambridge Public Schools has not yet announced any changes to its mask mandate, but officials previously said the school system will align its policies with the city’s.

“At this time, we have not made any changes to our mask protocols and our current requirements will remain in effect following the February break. Looking ahead, we will align any changes with those the city makes,” CPS Superintendent Victoria L. Greer wrote in an announcement to public school families on Feb. 18.

As of March 14, Cambridge’s mask guidance will match that of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which no longer recommends that fully-vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors.

However, the state health department continues to require that both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in transportation, healthcare, and “congregate care” settings. The MDPH also recommends continued indoor masking for vaccinated individuals who are immunocompromised or at high risk or live with those who are.

—Staff writer Katerina V. Corr can be reached at katerina.corr@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @KaterinaCorr.

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