NH Gov. Sununu announces he will not renew mask mandate when it expires Friday

CONCORD, N.H. (WHDH) - New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday announced that he will not renew the Granite State’s mask mandate when it expires on Friday.

“As fatalities continue to decline, as hospitalizations remain manageable, and as vaccinations continue to increase, the state’s mask mandate will not be renewed tomorrow,” Sununu said.

Sununu noted that expired mandate will not limit or prevent the ability of private businesses or cities and towns from requiring masks.

“New Hampshire residents know how to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe without a state mandate – just as we did before the winter surge,” Sununu added.

The announcement comes after New Hampshire’s seven-day average daily death rate fell to 0.6, the lowest mark since October.

New Hampshire was the last state in New England to adopt a statewide mask mandate in November. With Friday’s change, it will become the first to lift it.

“Even as restrictions are reduced, we are still in a pandemic and levels of COVID-19 remain high across the state,” state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said. “Therefore, we ask that people continue to take steps to protect their own health, the health of their family and friends, and the health of their community.”

All Granite Staters are still permitted to wear masks.

Sununu also announced plans to remove many business restrictions in May and replace them with recommendations instead.

Other states that have lifted mask mandates include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.

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