Governor Sununu’s statewide mask mandate expired on Friday, April 16 following a reduction in the state’s 7-day average of daily deaths to 0.6, the lowest since October 2020, as hospitalizations remain at a manageable level, and as over 70% of those 65+ have been vaccinated.
Despite the drop in Covid cases, New Hampshire Mayors are coming together to urge citizens to continue wearing masks and social distance until a larger percentage of the population is vaccinated.
“Our city has a mandate in place through June,” said Mayor Rick Becksted, Portsmouth. “Our health department continues to use the Rockingham percentage as a measure.”
12 additional Mayors from Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Dover, Franklin, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, and Somersworth agree that now is not the time to abandon the CDC guidelines.
The group cites State Epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan, who recently said “The threat to health from COVID-19 is real. Even as restrictions are reduced, we are still in a pandemic and levels of COVID-19 remain high across the State. Therefore, we ask that people continue to take steps to protect their own health, the health of their family and friends, and the health of their community.”
“NH public health continues to work towards protecting the health of all NH residents and communities,” said Chan. “Throughout the pandemic, we have advised people to wear face masks to protect themselves and prevent COVID-19 from spreading, even when there was no mask mandate.”
Experts expect that 90% of the U.S. population won’t be vaccinated until late July and the World Health Organization estimates “herd immunity” — the share of the population that needs to be immune in order to break the chain of transmission — to be around 60% to 70%.
“The lifting of the NH mandate does not diminish the importance of wearing a face mask,” said Mayor Caroline McCarley, Rochester. “It’s important to stay vigilant until the experts say it’s safe. We also urge NH citizens to respect private businesses that choose to continue and enforce COVID-19 safety protocols.”
The complete list of Mayors includes Rick Becksted, Mayor of Portsmouth, Dana Hilliard, Mayor of Somersworth, Jim Bouley, Mayor of Concord, Andrew Hosmer, Mayor of Laconia, Bob Carrier, Mayor of Dover, Charlene Lovett, Mayor of Claremont, Joyce Craig, Mayor of Manchester, Tim McNamara, Mayor of Lebanon, Jim Donchess, Mayor of Nashua, Caroline McCarley, Mayor of Rochester, Paul Grenier, Mayor of Berlin, Olivia Zink, Mayor of Franklin, and George Hansel, Mayor of Keene.
For frequently updated information regarding COVID-19 and vaccines, visit www.CDC.gov.