Portsmouth, NH Implements Mask Mandate for City Facilities
Masks will be required in all city facilities in Portsmouth starting Monday.
The policy came in the form of a memo this week from the city to all workers requiring all employees and visitors to wear masks in city facilities starting Mon, Dec 27, city spokeswoman Stephanie Seacord told Seacoast Current.
Private businesses and retailers in the city will not be affected as the city council has not taken up an ordinance. It would require three public readings, according to Seacord.
The city council in September passed a resolution requiring city employees to wear face coverings inside all city facilities. The resolution also required all city employees, full and part-time, and contractors who work in city buildings, be vaccinated or take a weekly test.
Under the state's current guidelines businesses may require customers and employees to mask up. While encouraging mask use Gov. Sununu has said numerous times he will not reinstate a mandate.
"Maintain social distancing, or use a mask where you think it's appropriate. And hopefully we can keep seeing this downward trend in both the hospitalizations, fatalities, and cases, not just across New Hampshire but across New England," Sununu said at his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.
New Hampshire's DHHS reported 1,088 new positive cases as of Wednesday for a total of 9,149 current cases. Two additional deaths and 373 current hospitalizations were reported.
Exeter Reinstates Mask Mandate
The Exeter Select Board unanimously adopted a mask mandate similar to its earlier policy during Monday's meeting for all buildings within the town. The mandate took effect on Tuesday.
The mandate will be in effect until at least the end of March when a federal mandate requiring masks on public transportation expires but could end early if conditions warrant.
Keene, Nashua and Manchester have also re-implemented indoor mask mandates.