South Hadley votes to reimplement indoor mask mandate | News

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Residents spoke out in tonight’s Board of Health meeting, some in favor of the mandate and some against it. Board members said that this will likely be in place until at least February.







SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The South Hadley Board of Health voted to implement another indoor mask mandate beginning Thursday.

Residents spoke out in tonight’s Board of Health meeting, some in favor of the mandate and some against it. Board members said that this will likely be in place until at least February.

“I fully believe people will not attend classes in a mask and this will cause me to have to close my doors,” said Michele Lyman, owner of Serenity Yoga.

Lyman spoke out, saying the mandate may force her yoga studio to close.

“A mask mandate will shut down my business, and it has suffered greatly over the last 20 months, and I’m still not fully back up to making profit,” she explained.

Other residents weighed in, in favor of everyone masking up to make themselves feel safer around town.

“I’m a senior in my 70s. I feel I’m at risk,” one Sough Hadley resident told Western Mass News. “I don’t shop here. I shop in Amherst, Hadley, or Northampton.”

Chair of the Board, Johanna Ravenhurst, was the only member to oppose the mask mandate, saying there are other ways to protect against the virus. Ravenhurst feared that people would decide not to shop in town because of the mandate.

“This is part of why I’m in opposition to this mandate and in favor of keeping the mask advisory in place, because there are so many different caveats and we have tools to prevent COVID-19,” Ravenhurst said.

However, other members were strongly in favor as they said that the omicron variant is spreading across the country quickly.

“I just don’t think it’s a big deal for people to put on a mask to go into a store,” said Vice Chair Tony Judge. “Other towns and other people around us have been doing it for months.”

The Board said that they will likely revisit the mandate in their February meeting and monitor case data.





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