Chatham Continues Face Covering Policy in High-Traffic Areas

Chatham Town Offices

CHATHAM – In the wake of the state’s recently relaxed mandate on face coverings in public settings, the Town of Chatham has doubled-down on its own stance on the policy.

Board of Health members voted unanimously at their meeting on Monday to extend the face covering requirement in the town’s downtown area and other populated areas.

Areas that will require residents to wear a mask over their mouth and nose include Main Street downtown, the transfer station, the observation deck of the municipal fish pier, and Lighthouse Beach overlook.

Governor Charlie Baker issued an order that took effect April 30, requiring people to wear masks or face-coverings in indoor public places and outdoors only when they are unable to maintain 6 feet from other people.

“One of the reasons the board put [the mask policy] in place last summer was the consensus that social distancing was difficult if not impossible in those locations,” said said Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson during the board meeting. 

He said that the Director of the Department of Public Works Thomas Temple would also like to see masks requirements stay at the transfer station for the time being. 

In support of extending the policy, members of the board also referenced a letter from Chatham Candy Manor that brought up the difficulty of businesses enforcing an indoor mask requirement if masks were otherwise not required just outside their front doors. 

The board said that it will reevaluate the mask policy in the future in response to public health data. 

“If we know anything about COVID-19, we know that it does change. It does head in different directions, it increases, it decreases, it morphs. We have more variants. Who knows where we’re going to be two or three months from now,” said John Beckley, chairman of the board.

“I like the idea of deciding now to maintain the current strategy and to revisit it periodically over the upcoming months to see whether we think it needs to be changed in any way.”

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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