FROM THE WORTHINGTON BOARD OF HEALTH
With regard to COVID-19 infections, the following health threats now exist:
- there has been a recent surge in COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts and throughout the United States due to the Delta variant;
- there is an increased risk of illness, hospitalization, and deaths among unvaccinated children and young adults from this variant;
- the first COVID cases (3) in many months has appeared in the town of Worthington, two were among unvaccinated individuals;
- there are no vaccinations available for those aged 12 and under;
- there is a relatively low rate of vaccination among adults under the age of 60 in Worthington;
- the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is now requiring in-school learning. This means more crowded classrooms and the inability to sustain 6 feet of distancing.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Pediatric Association (APA) have advised that all children aged 2-12 wear masks when indoors except when eating; Massachusetts DESE has determined that elementary school students should wear masks indoors.
The Worthington Board of Health is mandating that all students at the Conwell Elementary School, from pre-school through sixth grade, wear masks while indoors. Vaccinated people, though less vulnerable to severe illness or risk of death, still can carry and spread the virus; therefore, staff and visitors, vaccinated or not, need to wear masks while indoors to help protect this vulnerable population.
Also, starting immediately, masks are required for anyone, vaccinated or not, using indoor public spaces at all town buildings and facilities.
Exceptions include: Persons for whom a face mask or covering creates a health risk or is not safe because of any of the following conditions or circumstances:
- the person has a mental health or other medical diagnosis that advises against wearing a face mask or covering;
- the person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or
- the person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.
Per Order of the Worthington Board of Health, August 7, 2021