For Immediate Release: 9/3/2021 5:05 pm
With a rise in COVID-19 cases, Medical Director Michael P. Hirsh, has issued two Emergency Orders requiring the use of masks in all schools in the City of Worcester as well as a regulation requiring employers in the City of Worcester to report positive cases to the Division of Public Health.
Orders are effective Tuesday, Sept. 7 and will remain in place until further notice.
All public, private, parochial, and charter school students, educators and support staff in all grades in the City of Worcester are required to wear a face covering in school buildings and on school transportation, with some exceptions. Face coverings are also required for any sports-related activity for student-athletes and coaches when indoors, in alignment with guidance provided by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
Dr. Michael P. Hirsh, Medical Director said, “Worcester, like most other cities across the U.S., is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 positivity, due in large part to the highly transmissible Delta Variant, as well as a number of breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals. Vaccinated individuals who are largely asymptomatic can spread this highly infectious variant to unvaccinated individuals. While our best defense is achieving herd immunity through vaccination, masks have proven effective in protecting those who have yet to be vaccinated, are too young to be vaccinated as well as those with weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions.”
Employers across the Commonwealth were previously required to report positive COVID-19 cases under Governor Charlie Baker’s Emergency Declaration. Since being lifted, that regulation was vacated. The City of Worcester will now require businesses and employers to report those cases to the Worcester Division of Public Health for the purpose of contact tracing and the enforcement of quarantine requirements.
“We all have a role to play in keeping our community safe. Worcester is and always has been a City of resiliency. The residents of this community have shown great compassion and consideration for one and other repeatedly in times of need. We implore private businesses and employers to follow these regulations and further implement mask mandates for the safety of employees, customers and patrons,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.
The City of Worcester’s Department of Health and Human Services offers a number of Mobile Equity Vaccination Clinics, with no appointment required. For a list of upcoming clinics, visit www.worcesterma.gov.Mandating-Face-Coverings-In-Public-Private-Parochial-Charter-Schools.pdf