This Week in COVID-19: Tufts maintains mask mandate as Medford, Somerville, Mass. lift restrictions

COVID-19 cases are gradually on the decline again on the Medford/Somerville campus. The university reported 124 cases last week, with eight new cases on Friday.

The average number of positive COVID-19 cases on the Medford/Somerville campus has gone down around 14% over the past week with an average of 18 students testing positive per day. A total of 65 individuals were in isolation on Friday.

While Massachusetts recently lifted its mask mandate for K-12 schools and both Medford and Somerville have removed their indoor masking requirements, Tufts continues to enforce a mask mandate. The university’s position on masking has been attributed to the relatively high positivity rate on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses.

Somerville repealed its mask mandate on March 4 after the CDC announced that 90% of Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors. This figure is up from 70% just over a week ago. According to the nation’s health protection agency, Middlesex County is now considered to be at low risk for transmission. The move will mean that restaurants, fitness centers, supermarkets and other indoor establishments will no longer require patrons to wear masks.

The lifting of Somerville’s mask mandate comes just two weeks after a group protested against COVID-19 restrictions in a local Somerville brewery. A group of anti-vaccine, anti-mask protesters staged a sit-in protest while unmasked and refused to show proof of vaccination. The protesters argued that the masking and vaccination requirements discriminated against their medical statuses and legal rights.

For more details, visit the Daily’s COVID-19 dashboard.


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