After six months during which wearing a mask in Wellesley’s municipal buildings has been mandatory, indoor mask wearing will become optional in town starting March 7. This follows the State’s guidance that starting March 1 only high-risk and/or unvaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors.
The Wellesley Select Board and Board of Health voted in mid-February to discontinue the mask mandate. Like the state, the two Boards strongly advise individuals with weakened immune systems, those who are at risk for severe disease, or those who are not vaccinated to continue to wear masks indoors.
On March 7, Wellesley Public Schools (WPS) will transition to a new COVID-19 mitigation plan developed by Health and School officials and approved by the School Committee. This transition plan includes moving to a mask-optional environment for all students and staff, with the exception of health offices, individuals who are returning between days 6 and 10 of a COVID-positive diagnosis, or individuals who have had known, prolonged exposure to someone with COVID-19.
The transition plan includes details on changes to school lunches, visitors and volunteers, performing arts and athletics, field trips, and specific COVID mitigation measures.
Exception to the rule
Due to the vulnerable population served by the Wellesley Council on Aging, the COA Board has voted a policy requiring that individuals participating in in-person COA programs and activities at the Tolles Parsons Center be vaccinated and continue to wear masks at this time.
Massachusetts downsizes “Stop the Spread” sites
Due to a significant decrease in the need for COVID-19 state-sponsored testing sites, and the wide availability of rapid antigen tests, Massachusetts will downsize “Stop the Spread” testing sites to 11 locations by April 1. The Framingham site, which is closest to Wellesley, will stay open through at least May 15 and will continue to offer free PCR testing to any Massachusetts resident, with no ID or insurance required. Locations for other test sites in the Commonwealth here.