Boston Herald – The push is on to relax the outdoor mask mandate.
But Gov. Charlie Baker wouldn’t commit to any time frame as more people get the coronavirus vaccine.
When people are not crowded outside, there is “barely any risk at all” to contracting COVID-19, epidemiologists say. But under the Bay State mask mandate, people are supposed to wear a mask at all times in public.
“I really question whether people have to wear them outside while they’re walking, while they’re running and biking,” said Dr. Paul Sax, clinical director of the division of infectious disease at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “That’s a different risk. There’s barely any risk at all.”
When a family of five goes to the park, they’re supposed to wear masks while gathering together at the park after being maskless inside all day.
“That doesn’t make any sense, and there are a lot of situations like that,” Sax said.
It’s still important to wear masks outside in crowded settings, when there are face-to-face encounters with people in close range, he said. Sax also still strongly supports a mask mandate for indoor activities.
The governor on Tuesday said he’s not ready to make any commitments either way even as public health experts signal it could soon be time to ditch masks outdoors.
“This is obviously something we’re not just talking to local folks about we’ve also been talking to the feds, as well,” Baker said during a press conference.