“We all pay for the decisions of the unvaccinated.” Worcester begins mask tenure on Monday – CBS Boston

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WORCESTER (CBS) – “We’re going to put back our signage, which we had once before… you know, masks are required,” said Domenic Mercurio, executive director of the large indoor public market in Worcester. He discovered Worcester’s new mask warrant early Friday afternoon. “I sagged in my chair for a minute, then I got up and said ‘OK, we’ve already done this.'”

Now they are starting again, say city officials, who explained why in a press conference that took on an urgent tone. “We are in a kind of early crisis mode,” said the city’s medical director, Dr Michael Hirsh.

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“We all pay for the decisions of the unvaccinated,” said Mayor Joseph Petty.

Worcester’s vaccination rate is 80%, but less than half of eligible school-aged children have been vaccinated. This, coupled with a record nurses strike at St. Vincent Hospital, is straining the capacity of UMass Memorial Hospital.

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“It delays the care of patients with heart attacks,” said UMass Memorial Health CEO Dr. Eric Dickson. “I had to cancel an operation for someone with cancer, and it’s a tough decision to make.

That’s why Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus also announced a new vaccination requirement for city workers: get vaccinated or get tested weekly. “You don’t go into battle with just a few of your weapons; you need all your weapons, and getting vaccinated and wearing a mask is our best defense, ”he said.

“I think a lot of people are probably going to really agree with that, and a few people will be upset,” Mercurio said. “I challenge myself to make friends with them all.”

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The new mandate comes into effect on Monday, September 20. People will have the opportunity to speak on this on September 27. This is when the new mandate will be submitted to the Board of Health for ratification.

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