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Somerville to require public mask use starting Wednesday; violators could face fines

Update: Cambridge jumps in.

Somerville announced this morning that everybody 2 or older in Somerville will have to wear a mask "at all times in public" starting Wednesday. People will have a week's grace period to find a mask; after that, they could be subject to a stern talking to by police or a fine of up to $300.

Mayor Joe Curtatone and the Board of Health, who announced the new requirement, say it applies to both outdoor spaces and to "indoor public spaces like stores or the shared entrances of multi-unit homes." And, they emphasize, there are no exceptions for joggers and bicyclists.

The Police are committed to compassionate policing, and will seek first to educate members of the public about the face covering requirement wherever possible. As available, Officers will also carry masks to give to our most vulnerable residents such as persons experiencing homelessness or persons living with mental illness. However, after the one-week grace period, persons showing willful disregard, may be subject to a written warning or a $300 fine. Exceptions will be made for persons unable to medically tolerate a face covering.

In a robo-message to residents, Curtatone added:

I understand that this step may feel strange or burdensome. But this is necessary to help stop transmission of this disease. Not everyone who has COVID-19 shows symptoms. You can be carrying the virus and infecting others without knowing. No one wants to be the one who infected the grocery store clerk, or the bus driver, or the family out for a stroll. Wearing a face covering is one way to avoid that.

An appropriate face covering is clean and covers your nose and mouth. In a pinch, a scarf, bandana, or any clean cloth will do. You can also find information on making your own face covering under the “Prevention and Preparation” section of somervillema.gov/coronavirus.

Again, this order applies to indoor public spaces like stores or the shared entrances of multi-unit homes. It also applies to outdoor areas such as sidewalks, streets, paths, and squares. All persons including joggers and cyclists must comply.

Please remember that it is up to the Somerville Police Department, not residents, to enforce this order. The police are committed to compassionate policing and will aim to first educate violators and issue warnings. However, persons who willfully refuse to comply may be subject to a $300 fine.

Exceptions will be made for persons with certain medical conditions, and we certainly understand that some may struggle to comply, such as persons living with a mental illness or parents trying to keep masks on young children. Understanding will be shown in such cases.

More information can be found at somervillema.gov.

Thank you, Somerville. Together, we will get through this.

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Comments

...."a scarf, bandana or any clean cloth will do."

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Tape, staples, rubberbands, paper towels.

Can't wait to see everyone's tan lines in the summertime.

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I dare you.

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You get em, John!

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The mayor is kind of an asshole. He consistently undermines his own police department and then tasks them with enforcing an unenforceable policy.

He should have to do it.

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Speak the truth.

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How much of an asshole can my paisan be if Somerville keeps re-electing him?

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His numbers were down last year- recall it as closer to 60-40 after he got something like 77% of the vote in 2015

Noticed Curtatone went on TV with Charlie Baker sans mask day after initial mask advisory on April 10th- really liked him when he was first elected and have grown to not as he's seemed to take tack of either thinking he's the local anti-Trump (like in the Patriots kerfuffle a couple Super Bowls ago) or he has try to out-progressive Cambridge- feel like he may have missed his shot to move up in any meaningful way when Pressley took out Capuano

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How dare people expect the police to do the job they are paid incredibly well to do!

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To enforce a suggestion?

If anything I’d rather the police stop and cite the cyclists who habitually run red lights and then complain about cars not “sharing the road”.

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about our seatbelt law...

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Runners and bikers in Somerville have felt above the need to wear masks despite all their huffing on everyone. Glad the city is taking action to help us all stop this thing.

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Has anyone seen any studies actually backing up the use of putting cloth masks on to prevent the spread of viruses? Yes, I asked before and read another poster say the same here. I ask this in seriousness as I can't find any study except for one, below, showing they may actually do more harm than good. Also, has anyone else noticed that when they or others wear a cloth mask, bandanna or scarf leads to a lot of face touching to adjust what becomes a sweaty and heavily breathed-in damp cloth. I see a lot of people with the masks half on and half off, too. When outside, in the open air, this practice seems to defy logic, as people seem more likely to touch their mask and then other objects, but I'm interested to read whether I'm assuming incorrectly.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/

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The study itself states, "Owing to a very high level of mask use in the control arm, we were unable to determine whether the differences between the medical and cloth mask arms were due to a protective effect of medical masks or a detrimental effect of cloth masks. "

The issue is they compared wearing cloth masks to a control group of healthcare workers who apparently were wearing medical grade masks. So the study only shows that medical grade masks work better than cloth ones.

We have to be careful with the details and avoid misinformation.

I'm not advocating cloth masks, but if it's all you have, I believe it's better than nothing.

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How vacant of common sense are people in government?

No one wants to be the one who infected the grocery store clerk, or the bus driver, or the family out for a stroll. Wearing a face covering is one way to avoid that.

If I infect the grocer or the driver, it happened after I stepped into their vicinity in their work areas. If I infect the family out for a stroll, that family was there voluntarily. I'll sidestep them, but that's on them too for being outside.

Perhaps Mr. Curtatone didn't learn the "one of these things is not like the other" song from Sesame Street when he was a kid.

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that's on you too for standing there, right? How dare you ask me to stop doing something just because it might be dangerous!

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That for the duration of this outbreak, I have asked a total of 0 people to wear masks, and that's where I plan to keep the count.

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If my friends and I are throwing rocks, you'd be kind of an idiot to walk where we are throwing rocks.

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would be dickheads for throwing rocks in places where people might reasonably expect to be able to walk .

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At telling people they said something they didn't say.

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at bellowing "MAH FREE DUMBS!!!" instead of making a minimal effort not to harm others.

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...following the advice of Dr. Curtatone than I am because I am following the advice of people like Dr. Birx and Dr. "Brad Pitt" Fauci? Talk about dumbs. I have done everything the state and federal government has asked of us. But when the mayors of little towns start making up stuff, unlike the sheeple, I draw the line. And that would include Walsh if he decides to jump on the uninformed bandwagon.

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You're the one bellowing about your freedom to throw rocks, and I'm "sheeple" for telling you to grow up?

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you're the one that walked in front of me. On the weekend do you run around gun ranges for kicks?

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Or no?

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If someone's doing something dangerous, it's not unreasonable to ask them to stop doing it. Or even force them if they won't stop voluntarily. It's kinda the basis of a large part of our society and laws, but apparently it's "vacant of common sense" to say "it's illegal to drive on the sidewalk" or "it's illegal to dump toxic waste in the river" because clearly it's your responsibility for walking on a sidewalk someone might drive on or boat on a river someone might dump toxic waste into!

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Is there any evidence of transmission from someone taking a walk?

Are you familiar with viral load and it's impact on transmission and severity? Do you have evidence that there isn't more harm than good in preventing large numbers of minor infections and possible herd immunity?

Did you read the WSJ article on stats re. Shutdowns and how they might not lower the death rate?

Do you trust the numbers of Covid deaths (there are legit questions about attribution of Covid to deaths, diagnostic stats about people actually dying from flu rather than covid and much more- don't kid yourself, there is big money and politics in the reporting stats on both sides of the aisle)

As noted, nobody knows, least of all government. But it won't stop them from exerting greater and greater control over our lives (says the man who spent part of the morning filling out an elections form that asks how many dogs live in each unit of our building- Trump could be right about voter fraud if dogs can vote now!)

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Are you familiar with superspreaders?

There have been some recent analyses with bikers and walkers and joggers that demonstrate that six feet ain't enough, too. Are you familiar with this science? https://medium.com/@jurgenthoelen/belgian-dutch-study-why-in-times-of-co...

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That's for people behind others, not passing.

It also shows no evidence that masks help in the situation being researched. The principal advantage I've seen for most cloth masks is they keep droplets from traveling very far. They do little or nothing to contain coughs, sneezes and even the remnants of normal exhalation. The air that comes out of your mouth has to go somewhere. And you have to be hit with viable virus, both in quality and quantity to be infected. I find it interesting to note that the usual suspects who say follow the science are the first ones to defend the unscientific recommendation of masks to do something more than a marginal job of spreading droplet borne virus, which is mostly only useful in close quarters indoors.

I've tried to flatten the curve to protect the health care system, gave my own ppe yo a hospital, stayed inside, moved my biz online, socially distanced, avoided contact with at risk individuals. But when people start just throwing crappy spaghetti at the wall with this unproven pseudoscience about wearing masks, I draw the line. It's crap science peddled by attention seeking politicians until scientifically proven otherwise.

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That's for people behind others, not passing.

Thought exercise: Where are the people who were passed? Are they maybe, just maybe behind the maskless athletes? I say again, duh.

Maybe you could flatten the curve of your dim and verbose comments here.

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Talking about in opposite directions.

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Still breathing that athletic vapor trail.

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e-vapor-ated

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Not according to the experts. But you're going to believe whatever supports your desire to not be inconvenienced, aren't you?

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On lots of variables.

Did you see the study linked by another poster?

1245 cases tracked and only two could be traced to an outdoor transmission. And that was two people speaking with each other.

Over 1200 cases and not a single instance of passive outdoor transmission. Peer review pending on this study, but c'mon.

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My god dude it's just a mask, it's literally the least you can do.

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My guess would be, 'A lot'.

Considering the asymptomatic rates that several studies are finding, Pine St Inn...38%, the Stanford study (similar), the prison study (94% positives were asymptomatic!), I'm thinking the horse has thoroughly and completely left the barn on this one...

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It doesn't matter if someone is working or not.

Because this isn't about individuals - this is about... POPULATIONS!

What this mask rule is aimed at is the spread of disease in the ... POPULATION. The more isolated our excretions and exhalations are, the more the population spread is retarded.

Consider this as well: you infect a worker, and that worker comes into contact with a lot of other people. That means that YOU have spread the PLAGUE!

So isolate your excretions and exhalations. This isn't rocket science ... its Oatmeal:
IMAGE(https://s3.amazonaws.com/theoatmeal-img/comics/sneeze_vs_toot/sneeze_vs_toot.png)

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Let’s go Marty Walsh. You’re behind as usual on this.

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Food for thought: Somerville has the highest recorded population density in the Commonwealth, followed by Chelsea, our hardest hit municipality by per capita infections.

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So the factors that facilitate economic exchanges also facilitate infectious exchanges? Color me surprised.

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According to the last batch of town-by-town numbers, the rate of cases in Chelsea is 7 times higher than that of Somerville.

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Bikers and runners are not spreading this virus when they are running and biking. Rather than have a NUANCED policy that addresses the actual risks, this policy just assumes that people are too stupid to understand when masks are absolutely essential (in stores) and when it's really OK not to have one on.

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Bikers and runners are not spreading this virus when they are running and biking.

Says you, but where's your proof of that? Are runners and bikers just naturally so clean-living that they're totally incapable of harboring the virus, or what?

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I know that my respiratory tract goes gaga when I ride in the spring due to allergens.

Masks not only keep allergens out of me, they contain the sneezes, etc.

Consider as well that any time you stop or interact with anything, you could transmit disease.

Transmission outdoors is less possible, particularly on windy days, but not impossible if you end up touching your face and then something else, etc.

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I'm perfectly capable of spreading a virus whether on bike or off, and it's bizarre to claim otherwise.

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The slippery slope

Most of us are likely to get it, but let's flatten the curve to keep the burden down on the hospitals so stay home, even young people who are more likely to die of almost any other cause than covid, even if they live alone.

Let's reduce the spread so everyone keep 6 feet away from each other on the street

It's spread by droplets so wear a mask indoors to reduce the spread (absent statistical evidence that this actually works and some evidence it can make things worse)

Everyone's breath is poisonous, so wear a mask always even though the evidence we have indicates it's between difficult and impossible to catch it while just walking around outdoors.

We're not there yet, but more and more evidence is indicating we have overreacted and reacted in largely ineffective ways under the auspices of "do something" because it looks good politically at costs that far exceed monetary losses.

File under politically correct groupthink textbook example.

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Stevil, throughout this thread you've asserted opinions as if they were facts. You've erected strawman arguments and kicked the shit out of them, to your own great fanfare. You've claimed "evidence" in support of your views without citing any. You've made sweeping unsupported generalizations and claims about the future.

You don't know, so stop pretending you do. No one is buying it.

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the point is "they" don't know either.

You don't make policy on stuff you don't know - and then double down on not knowing, then triple down then quadruple down on it. God only knows what the quintuple down will be. Maybe we should all just wear plastic bags around our heads - that will solve everything in a matter of minutes.

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When you don't know, you take your best guess at probabilities, do the best risk vs benefit analysis that you can, and you make policy accordingly. As you learn more, you reassess and change policy accordingly.

Wearing a face covering is, for almost everybody, extremely low risk (and note the medical excecption to the rule). It's also very likely to have some benefit.

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I've heard of people getting it from infected Heath care providers and vice versa. Eating at a restaurant, likely when riding Mass transit, from fellow family members. A pro basketball player guarding another infected player. The common denominator is prolonged (minutes or hours)close contact/ exposure to an infected person. Every expert's opinion I've read says to contract a virus you need a volume and quality of virus for it to have an adverse effect. And ample evidence that some minimal exposure can lead to a light case and antibodies, but we don't know enough yet about covid immunity. Also evidence that larger exposures can result in far worse outcomes for some viruses.

There is simply zero evidence I've seen ( happy to read a link) of anyone that got this walking down the street, cycling, jogging etc. And if the likelihood is akin to getting hit by lightning or bitten by a shark, we don't need this level of intrusiveness unless you believe we should wall off cape cod and prohibit outdoor activity in rainstorms.

Even the CDC guidelines say it's only necessary when you can't maintain social distancing and the examples are for indoor activities (pharmacy and grocery).

What do the politicians know that the WHO and CDC don't know?

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You are so out of your lane here you don't even know how dumb you sound.

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See last line above

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Ya, it's not a question of overreach as actively moving the goalposts, perhaps. Next, they'll use 'lots of testing needed' to delay opening.

The intentional mischaracterizations of my comments over on the ethanol thread is unsurprising. The loathing of Trump is so bad, and the depressing thought of Joe Biden's trashed candidacy is so harrowing, that to even suggest that UV light should be looked at in a serious manner is 'pro-Trumpism' because he made some remarks about it.

Truth of the matter is, you are correct. More importantly, I think that the morons-that-be in power don't see the danger.

Here: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tyson-foods-chairman-warns-food-sup...

Smithfield has already lost a couple of plants.

If we don't get our shit together and get things back on the rails, we will be thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly and completely fucked going into the winter.

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Like Stevil, you are also so out of your lane that you ain't even in the same pool. Don't quit your day job.

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...Tell ya what, I'll only cite the best...

...how about Dr. Fauci. Let me quote someone here. I didn't write this, just lifted it from someone. You want to disagree with it, fine.

"Dr. Fauci gave a great explainer during one of the press briefings about the value of COVID-19 testing. On an individual level it is almost nothing if you test negative. He compared it to HIV testing. With HIV, if you test negative for the virus there are a specific set of behaviors you can avoid and be confident you will remain negative because of how the virus is transmitted. There is actual value in knowing your status in that case.
In the case of a highly contagious respiratory virus, the test is only good at the point in time it was collected. An individual’s status could change almost immediately if they encounter the virus in their environment."

Look, the Really Smart People have not really covered themselves in glory in this cluster. From the Chinese Communist Party lying through their teeth, to American politicians partying in their local Chinatowns to prove they're not racist, to Biogen (hey, we're smart, too!) being the first Massachusetts cluster of carriers, to the WHO carrying water for the CCP, to the Orange Man Racist for regulating air travel in January, it's been a slow motion flaming train wreck of fail.

But, and this is really important...we're lucky this time. This ain't the 1918 Spanish flu. If it was, we'd be screwed. We're teetering on the brink here and the Really Smart People are not filling me to the brim with confidence.

We have to, have to get shit back together or we're going to get really hungry in the future.
Those deplorables that grow the food? Well, guess what...they're in trouble and are facing grim consequences.
Not sure what to quote from this. It's a short read. Read it.

Read this, one and all... https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1101313916898598912?fbclid=IwAR2grHo6xRVB...

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Is Mayor Curtatone really just getting around to this now or did his handlers advise him to wait for a day when everybody else had already addressed masks? This assures Curtatone a prominent place in the news cycle for the new week. We've known from Day 1 that there are no significant benefits from wearing a mask other than the psychological boost some get from it. So it really raises the question almost three months into the scare, why now?

Curtatone's priorities are revealed by only applying the law to citizens aged over 1 year, 11 months and 30 days. Apparently, human life only deserves protection beginning at birth age 2 in Curtatone's Somerville. Is there new science behind this or just a far-left Mayor's wink and nod to the abortion crowd he'll need to run for Governor?

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Gee, so all those medical professionals are doing it wrong? Get back to me after you inject yourself with Lysol™, willya?

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internal UV illumination.

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We've known from Day 1 that there are no significant benefits from wearing a mask other than the psychological boost some get from it.

The primary reason to wear a mask is to protect others, not yourself.

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The primary reason to wear a mask is to protect others

And thus is revealed the real reason so many Republicans object to it. There's nothing more offensive to them than being asked to endure a minor inconvenience to help someone else.

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Give it up, pops. You don't know shit about epidemiology, virology, or medicine. Zip it.

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Having a bad day?

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Surrounded by tools like Fish and others who can do nothing but piss and moan about the all-encompassing tragedy of having to wear a mask, which is being required of them in order to slow the spread of a pandemic, I'd expect that she's having an exceptionally shitty day. Any sane and civilized human being would be.

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  • step 1: order everyone to wear masks.
  • step 2:
  • step 3: profit.
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Why isn't the Governor wearing a mask when he gives his daily CV update?

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He wears one before and after, but doesn't want the stuff he needs to tell the public to be muffled while he's at the podium. Marty Walsh does the same thing.

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Let's see, there's been a lot of crap in this thread...

Masks are recommended by the CDC and most public health agencies for all adults, and children over the age of 2 when either: in enclosed spaces where social distancing is problematic (groceries, pharmacies, essential retail) and outside in densely populated or trafficked areas; e.g., Somerville or Chelsea. Local ordnances such as Brookline's can make mask wearing mandatory.

Children under 2 are more likely to have problems with airflow through a mask, or with keeping it on properly at all, or not strangling themselves with hair elastics. Don't mask your infants and toddlers unless a health professional is in charge -- like at the pediatrician's office.

There have been a number of deaths, here and everywhere else, of athletes in their 20s and 30s who are out exercising for 5 days before becoming symptomatic, then dying of strokes from the virus attacking their liver and circulatory system rather than filling their lungs. This is precisely where the "wear a mask when off your property exercising" advisory or regulation comes from.

Wearing a mask is about preventing asymptomatic spread, as we're getting the contact tracers online. If we can find all of the pockets of infection and choke off transmission, we can open society back up, a piece at a time.

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"Wearing a mask is about preventing asymptomatic spread, as we're getting the contact tracers online. If we can find all of the pockets of infection and choke off transmission, we can open society back up, a piece at a time."
OK. I have a suggestion...'glancing around for CNN reporters'...get all the C+ workers that are asymptomatic. Open a meat packing plant. Start processing meat.
Listen to Columbia researcher David Brenner...
https://news.columbia.edu/ultraviolet-technology-v...

Set up UV light to cover the meat strategically so it's disinfected.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/WDuPDkP.jpg)

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The outdoors in Somerville is not densely populated or heavily trafficked anymore, except maybe in the line outside Market Basket. However, forcing people to wear masks to walk around at a safe distance from one another outdoors will lead to more foot traffic in Cambridge, Medford, and Arlington, where the mayors don't think they're better scientists than the CDC.

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Cambridge is requiring masks now. Are you seriously claiming that people will leave Somerville and go to Medford and Arlington so they can walk around without masks?

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nice word choice :D

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Wearing masks consistently and hand washing would have mitigated s shut down.

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We have had on the books for centuries laws requiring us to cover our genitals when we're out in public. Sporadic pockets of eccentricity aside, there hasn't been a lot of serious opposition to those laws. In principle, a law requiring face covering should be further in the clear constitutionally or on civli liberties grounds, since there's pretty much no scientific public health argument in favor of the "cover your junk" laws, while there is (admittedly imperfect and debatable) evidence that "cover-your-mouth-and-nose" laws offer a public health benefit.

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Funny how the LIBURTY!!!!! crowd doesn't bother citing any case law? Any specific amendments? That's because this shit has been litigated out the weewah for centuries. Centuries of yellow fever, typhoid, influenza,tuberculosis, and even leprosy.

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