Wareham Officials Told to Mask Up at Public Meetings
Wareham Town Administrator Derek Sullivan is telling local officials to mask up at public meetings if they want to continue using Town Hall.
Sullivan on Tuesday said if members of town boards and committees are "unwilling or unable" to wear masks while meeting in person, then Wareham's public office building will no longer be available for their use.
Sullivan and the Board of Selectmen discussed Monday's meeting of the Planning Board, where members conducted the public's business without wearing face coverings. The meeting took place in Room 320 of the Multi-Service Center -- a room often used by town boards and committees, Wareham Wicked Local reports.
The three-member Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a motion to require face coverings at public meetings. Sullivan said he would reach out to the Planning Board to give them the news, and that he would be "disappointed" if they pushed back. Sullivan added that the town's COVID-19 numbers are "spiking again," with 22 new confirmed cases since Oct. 5.
Selectmen expressed dismay with the Planning Board's behavior. "Our grandparents were asked to go off to fight a war. You're only asked to wear a mask. Come on, people," remarked Chairman Peter Titelbaum.
Sullivan asked residents to take advantage of early voting or mail-in voting this year to reduce the number of people inside the building on Election Day. And town employees might be encouraged to take a paid day off on Nov. 3 for the same reason.
Wareham is currently labeled "yellow" for moderate Covid-19 risk, according to metrics maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. However, that data is now one week old. MassDPH plans to update its community-specific data today by 4 p.m.