City orders mandatory public mask use

A woman wearing a mask walks along Broadway on Saturday during a spring snow storm. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

But where are the masks?


All residents of Everett over five years old and entering public places like corner stores and food shops must wear face masks according to an edict from the city’s Health Department issued over the weekend.

This comes as a stern reminder how wearing facemasks are believed to aid and prevent those with the coronavirus from spreading it to others, as well as others wearing masks without the virus to protect themselves from becoming infected by others who have it.

The Health Department order is the result of many residents wearing facemasks here expressing concern about the many people out and about in this city not wearing them, who seem oblivious to the virus and its potential to kill people who become infected.

Councilor Mike McLaughlin has asked the mayor to consider taking funds from the “Rainy Day” cash account the city keeps for emergencies to buy facemasks and other protective gear so those without it can protect themselves and others.

He is suggesting that that money be immediately appropriated to make life safer for people during this pandemic that has shut down the city, the state and the nation.

“The Rainy Day Fund is one of those accounts that taxpayer dollars fund from year to year to be used for an emergency,” said McLaughlin.

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Face mask of any kind, like the N-95 (above), are in high demand.

“We’re in an emergency. The time to use these funds is now,” he added.

McLaughlin believes that the cities seniors and those with medical issues need masks and gloves or face- masks, at the very least.

“We need to get masks into peoples’ hands,” he told the Leader Herald.

“Seniors especially need the masks. Think about an Everett senior citizen 80 years old walking into Walgreens to pick up a prescription wearing no mask. That’s just wrong. It isn’t right. We need to do something about this,” he added.

Part of the problem locally is that masks are not available to be purchased anywhere in the city.

Visits to Walgreens, Home Depot, Costco and many smaller stores has revealed no masks for sale.

Masks are not available anywhere locally.

Where does one get a mask?

“Those of us with Internet skills can order masks online. Many of our elderly cannot do this. They need the help of city hall,” McLaughlin added.

“This isn’t about politics or favoritism. This is about meeting the challenge of the epidemic,” he said.

McLaughlin indicated that in Wakefield, town officials had approved the purchase and free distribution of facemasks for the elderly and for other impacted residents.

“We should be doing the same,” he said.

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