BOSTON (WHDH) - Some local doctors say it’s time for Governor Charlie Baker to lift the outdoor mask mandate in Massachusetts.
Dean of a brown University’s School of Public Health, Dr. Ashish Jha told CNN that health experts have known for more than a year that outdoor infections are extremely rare.
“I think it’s pretty safe to be out and about walking around without a mask, especially in large parts of the country where infection numbers are under reasonable control,” he told them.
Dr. Paul Sax, the Clinical Director of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s, said he felt it was pointless to wear a mask while walking his dog alone at 6 a.m. saying it is all to do with ventilation.
“I would argue it is time, and I’d argue that for a few reasons,” he said. “We know that transmission of the virus really takes place, almost overwhelmingly, inside. Second, when people are outside, a lot of times they’re outside on their own or with family members.”
Both doctors agreed that indoor mask mandates need to stay, for now.
“I think in a way, the message should be, let’s focus on the prevention methods where it really counts, in indoor spaces,” Sax said.
They also say masks should still be worn when gathering outdoors in large crowds until a significant percentage of the population is vaccinated.
“But, I think we really need to look at outdoor activity and see it as a relatively safe thing unless you have congregations of large numbers of people for long periods of time,” Jha told CNN.
“Our state has been very adherent to maks mandates, which I think is great and helped keep the case numbers down whenever we could,” said Sax. “But, given what we understand about the science from virus transmission, I think it’s OK if we drop the outdoor mask mandate and focus on where it really counts which is indoors.”
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