MARLBOROUGH – The City of Marlborough has lifted its mask mandate following a Board of Health vote on Monday night.
“We are seeing so many fewer COVID patients,” said Board of Health Member Joseph Tennyson during the board’s meeting. “Hospitals are still full, but new COVID hospitalizations are definitely decreasing.”
The mandate, which took effect on Jan. 21, has now been changed to an advisory.
Board members voted to lift the mandate given the decreased transmission of the coronavirus within the state and the city.
Tennyson specifically noted the Rt, or the effective reproducibility of the virus in regards to transmission.
“At the time of our last meeting it was 1.44 [on Jan. 13], which means that every single person who had COVID at that time was likely to infect 1.44 people,” Tennyson said. “That number, as of today, is .45.”
“It looks like January 2020 is the last time we saw that before the big spike,” he continued
Board member James Griffin expressed his support for lifting the mandate.
“I believe we are still working to keep the citizenry of Marlborough safe,” he said, citing recent numbers.
Public Health Director John Garside noted that “a little bit of normalcy” helps those suffering from other issues during the pandemic.
A number of neighboring communities still have mask mandates in effect, though some are in the process of evaluating whether to make their own changes.
The Marlborough Health Department reported 53 active COVID-19 cases as of Monday. That marks a decrease compared to the 1,057 such active cases a month prior on Jan. 7.
The Health Department has noted that current case counts “may underestimate the actual prevalence of COVID-19 in the community,” however, as they only include cases confirmed through PCR testing.