Warren enacts temporary mask mandate for Town buildings

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 1/13/22

The mask mandate is in effect for all Town-owned and operated buildings until further notice.

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Warren enacts temporary mask mandate for Town buildings


Due to a high rate of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus and its most recent variants, Delta and Omicron, Warren Town Manager Kate Michaud has implemented a temporary mask mandate for all town owned and operated buildings.

“This emergency temporary masking policy for town owned and operated buildings within the Town of Warren is being implemented for the purpose of reducing the spread of COVID-19 and limiting the risk of transmission by and to employees and visitors,” the policy, which was issued on Wednesday, Jan. 5, reads.

The mask policy piggybacks Governor Dan McKee’s executive order issued back in mid-December that enacted a mask mandate for large and small businesses and gatherings, but does not permit proof of vaccination as a means to forego wearing a face covering.

A face covering may only be taken off while in a town building if:

  • A face covering would impede communication by or with a person who has a hearing impediment;
  • You are working alone in an office or at a job site. However, provided a worker can reasonably expect to interact with or to be approached by customers, coworkers or visitors, the worker must wear a mask or face covering;
  • You are working in an environment where masking would create a safety hazard;
  • You are speaking to a broadcast, webcast or audience when no person is within six feet of the person speaking;
  • You are consuming food or drink; or
  • You are officiating, or participating as a legal party in, a marriage or civil union ceremony.

Michaud said last week that the impetus for the policy came after a noticeable uptick in the number of COVID cases among town employees following the holidays at the end of December.

“Currently we have two town hall employees, one DPW employee and seven police department employees out on isolation,” Michaud said last Thursday in an email. “These numbers change every day as folks recover and return and new people test positive and leave.”

The policy specified that Town Hall, the Mary V. Quirk Community Center, the Warren Animal Shelter, and the Department of Public Works facility (indoors) were all included within the mandate.

The mask mandate will remain in effect, “until such time that the rate of community transmission is reduced below the State’s target of >5% positivity rate, the Governor’s Executive Order is rescinded, or this order is rescinded by the Warren Town Manager; whichever occurs first.”

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