City of Cambridge Amends Temporary Emergency Order Requiring Wearing of Face Masks

The City of Cambridge issued amendments to its emergency order requiring that face coverings be worn in all public places, businesses, and common areas of residential buildings with two or more dwelling units. The order goes into effect at 12:00 a.m. on October 2, 2020. 

With the amended order, anyone age two or older must wear a mask or face covering at all times when on or in public places beginning on October 2. Public places include sidewalks, streets, parks, plazas, bus stops, non-residential parking lots and garages, and any other outdoor area or non-residential parking facility which is open and accessible to the general public The newly amended order replaces the City’s previous provision, which allowed people to remove face masks or coverings while outside during the summer months in Cambridge when a physical distance of at least 6 feet could be maintained at all times.

Under Governor Baker’s August 7, 2020, Executive Order, masks or cloth face coverings must be worn by persons age two years old or older attending indoor or outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people in Cambridge. The amended City Order also requires that employees of places of business may remove masks or cloth face coverings only when working alone in an individual office with a door closed or when working alone in an office suite with no other individuals present. Masks must be worn at all other times in places of business. Additionally, in residential buildings with more than one unit, anyone in a common area will need to wear a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose at all times.

“Since the emergence of this pandemic, the City, in cooperation with the Cambridge Public Health Department and an Expert Advisory Committee, has been deploying a series of public health strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “It is clear that wearing a mask or face covering is a key requirement in combating this pandemic. With people spending more time indoors, there is an increased risk of spreading COVID-19. By tightening and clarifying our face-covering requirements now, we hope to continue minimizing COVID-19 risk in Cambridge.”

“We’ve seen a slight uptick in average daily COVID-19 infections among city residents in September compared to last month, which includes cases at the higher education institutions as well as in the broader community,” said Claude A. Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer and director of the Cambridge Public Health Department. “We urge residents to remain vigilant about mask-wearing and to avoid spending time in poorly ventilated indoor spaces or at crowded gatherings where physical distancing is difficult.”

The amended order further clarifies that patrons of food establishments may temporarily remove their masks or face coverings when dining; however, they may do so only when seated. Patrons must wear masks or face coverings at all other times when in indoor and outdoor areas of restaurants and cafes.

“I am proud that our Cambridge COVID-19 numbers remain at a low positivity rate, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is related to our residents wearing face masks, keeping their distance from others, and practicing good hygiene,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “We must continue wearing masks to stay safe, and I am confident that this mandate will help keep our numbers low as we head into cold and flu season.”

While the City will continue to emphasize education over fines, any person found violating this Emergency Order may be issued a warning or may be issued a violation notice with a fine of three hundred dollars ($300). Compliance with City and state requirements for wearing masks or face coverings will be monitored by the Cambridge Police, Cambridge Public Health, and lnspectional Services departments.

To report any potential violations or concerns, residents are encouraged to contact the Cambridge Police business line at (617) 349-3300 or e-mail 311@cambridgema.gov.

View full text of the emergency order.

For more information and to sign up to receive daily updates on COVID-19 and other important City information, please visit  https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19

More information, videos, and frequently asked questions about face coverings can be found at www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/facecoverings 

Page was posted on 9/25/2020 1:48 PM
Page was last modified on 9/25/2020 7:02 PM
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