On Thursday, November 19th, Governor Sununu imposed a statewide mask mandate in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This is a decision that did not come lightly,” Sununu said. “We’ve said all along that the mask mandate was always on the table. We’re going to let data really drive a lot of our decisions.”
The order applies to anyone aged 5 and up. Masks and proper face covering are now required in all public spaces and wherever social distancing cannot be maintained.
“No one wants a shutdown,” said Sununu. “No one wants to go back to where we were in March, April, and May. This virus is rapidly spreading and this mandate will help slow the spread and keep our economy open.”
Local leadership is echoing many of the statements that have been made consistently since the start of the pandemic.
“The numbers continue to rise in Rochester and all over the state,” said Mayor Caroline McCarley. “Please consider staying home if you can, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask wherever you go.”
“This is not just to protect you… It’s to protect the people around you,” McCarley continued. “There are many others in our community that are already vulnerable. Washing your hands and wearing a mask is the least we can do to protect them. The alternative is to stay home, order your essentials online, and stay away from the public altogether.”
“This is all an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Blaine Cox, Rochester City Manager.
In a recent letter to the community, Cox warned of ‘pandemic fatigue’ and encouraged citizens to be more vigilant than ever.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen an uptick in COVID-19-related infections,” Cox continued. “Pandemic fatigue is manifesting itself in residents and visitors being less apt to follow the CDC guidelines, i.e. less diligent in wearing masks when moving from various locations, less social distancing, perhaps less hand washing, sanitizing, etc.”
State health officials reported 529 new cases of COVID-19 and more than 4,000 active cases in the state.
Seeing an increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, the CEOs of Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Parkland Medical Center, Portsmouth Regional Hospital released a joint statement urging the public to act responsibly.
“As health leaders dedicated to serving Southern New Hampshire and the Seacoast, our plea is simple: put the safety of your family and community first, as an act of love and gratitude for everyone you care about.”
Visit www.cdc.gov to learn more about COVID-19 and ways to stay safe until a vaccine is made available.