BOSTON (WHDH) - Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said his administration has no plans to bring back the statewide mask mandate, despite a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“Five million people are fully vaccinated, 1.5 million of those people have received booster shots, and another million people have at least one dose,” Baker said during a news conference when asked if the state is considering mandating masks to help curb the spread of the virus ahead of the holidays. “The fundamentally best and most important way for people to keep themselves and their family members safe is to get vaccinated.”
There are mask mandates in place in individual cities and towns but the statewide mandate was lifted back in May.
“We’re in a very different place than we were in before…There’s simply no question that the vaccines work,” Baker said. “If the unvaccinated got vaccinated it would drop our hospitalization rates by 50 percent.”
Baker also announced that the state would be distributing more than two million free COVID-19 tests to more than 100 cities and towns.
“With the holidays approaching, we encourage residents to utilize rapid tests as a convenient way to keep family members and friends safe at gatherings,” Baker said.
Salem recently re-imposed a mask mandate for all public buildings. An indoor mask mandate has been in effect in Boston since August.
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