Dover, Somersworth Keep Masks Voluntary, Rochester Adopts Mandate
UPDATE (November 19, 3:25 p.m.): New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced a statewide mask mandate that takes effect on November 20.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in parts of New Hampshire and beyond, several Seacoast municipalities are deciding on potential mask mandates for their respective cities/towns.
In both Dover and Somersworth, it appears masks are being kept voluntary for now. Dover City Council voted 6-2 Wednesday night to essentially table a vote that could have required the wearing of masks both inside and outside in certain public spaces. Somersworth is also keeping face coverings voluntary.
Rochester, however, is stepping up its requirements and masks are now being required inside and outside in certain public spaces. The mandate does not apply to private businesses or pedestrians walking on sidewalks.
Portsmouth adopted a mask ordinance on September 15 and could theoretically extend that mandate beyond its January 4 expiration date.
New Hampshire announced 447 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the state total to 3,767 active infections. Rockingham County had 117 of those new cases, while Strafford had 34.