Board of Health revises mask mandate for Westborough Public Library

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By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

Westborough Public Library Photo/Laura Hayes
Westborough Public Library
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Board of Health voted 3-0 to revise the mask mandate for the Westborough Public Library at a meeting on Oct. 27.

While masks are still required regardless of vaccination status in the library’s children’s room area for those over two-years-old, vaccinated visitors elsewhere in the building are now able to remove their masks.

The previous mask mandate had been in place for the library since the board voted it into effect in late August after Westborough experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases.

“I think, for patrons in town, it’s a bit confusing that the library was the only municipal building that this was required for,” said Chair of Library Trustees Mary Johnston at this most recent meeting.

Library Director Maureen Amyot requested that adult patrons and children aged 12 and older be allowed to follow CDC guidelines on masking in the main hall of the library. Amyot said that she wanted to continue to require individuals of all ages to wear masks in the children’s section of the library.

The Board of Health, indeed, voted to end the mandate while still requiring masks in the children’s section.

“I would like it to cover the requirement that the Library in the first floor still have masking in order to protect the large number of kids that are not able to get vaccinated,” said Board of Health Chair Nathan Walsh.

Amyot said that, multiple times a day during this mandate, patrons would come into the Library with no mask or with a mask only partially covering their nose and mouth.

Amyot said that, while most people would wear the mask when instructed to do so, they would sometimes do so in a way that was grudging or impolite. 

She also said some would begin arguing with library staff about the need to wear a mask and about whether COVID-19 is a hoax.

“Someone confided in me today that she has stopped talking to adult patrons who are coming in because there are certain ones that she knows that, when she asks them to put their mask up, they’re going to give her a hard time,” Amyot said. “She just can’t have the argument with this person again.”