We're seeing more and more throughout Massachusetts and the country, in general, a relaxation in mask mandates. However, hospitalizations are creeping up in parts of the country. Could the winds of change be in the air regarding mask mandates? Many folks have heard by now that several airlines don't require masks to be worn on airplanes. In addition, many buildings throughout Massachusetts have loosened up on mask requirements as well, but not everyone.

I started thinking about this as I have two appointments coming up soon, one is in Springfield (a checkup on my transplanted kidney) and one is in Pittsfield (dentist). Low and behold both of those Massachusetts facilities still require you to wear masks which makes sense to me. As a matter of fact, according to mass.gov, a number of health care facilities in Massachusetts still have mask mandates. Here's what it says on the site:

Masks continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times in the following locations, subject to the exemptions listed below:

Healthcare facilities licensed or operated by the Commonwealth and healthcare practice locations of any provider licensed by a professional board which sits within the Department of Public Health or the Division of Professional Licensure. These settings include nursing homes, rest homes, emergency medical services, hospitals, physician and other medical and dental offices, urgent care settings, community health centers, vaccination sites, behavioral health clinics, and Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services (BSAS) facilities. This requirement applies to patients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.

WNAW AM logo
Get our free mobile app

As a matter of fact, there are other Massachusetts facilities and programs that still require you to wear a mask including:

  • The RIDE
  • Congregate Care Facilities
  • Emergency Shelter Programs
  • Prisons/Jails/Houses of Correction etc.
  • Health Care and Day Services
  • Home Health Care Workers

You can get complete details on this list by going here.

As mentioned above, this makes sense to me. With some of these facilities having many people located in them, you never really know who isn't feeling well and who is. Plus, since I do have a transplanted kidney, my immune system is a bit compromised. So, I have no issue with keeping things on the safe side. I'm sure we could have a friendly debate about this all day but what are your thoughts on the mask requirements for these Massachusetts facilities and programs?

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

15 Ways You Can Help People in Ukraine Right Now

As Americans watch events unfold in Ukraine, many wonder how they can help. Below is a list of organizations responding to the crisis in Ukraine along with information on how you can support their various missions. 

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

More From WNAW AM