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Mask mandate motion put into committee

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  A citywide mask mandate isn’t immediately in the works, but the City Council will consider the motion made by Councillor-at-Large Steven Morabito to implement one. Morabito’s motion asked that Mayor Brian Arrigo request the Board of Health to look into implementing a temporary citywide indoor mask mandate to help slow the surge in COVID-19 cases.

  “As most people know, the primary purpose of wearing a mask is protecting people around you, and it’s also about protecting yourself,” said Morabito. “A mask is 20 to 30 percent more effective, but more importantly, it is about the people around you and making the whole community safe. As a city, we have almost 60,000 residents, and we are a transit-oriented city with six different bus routes transporting people to and from our city each day.

  “We have a ridership on the Blue Line of 8,300 daily … and we have three subways in Revere. I feel strongly that until our city is confident about the state of the pandemic, we need to see a dramatic decrease in COVID cases.”

  Morabito said the city has to act as other surrounding communities have done to implement a mask mandate to help protect against the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.

  Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo said he wants to see the request go to committee. “I will agree with you: Omicron is a variant that we have to be very concerned with as it is highly transmissible,” said Rotondo. “I will tell you that, thankfully, the city of Revere is 80 percent vaccinated and that’s a very good thing, and I hope we can get to 100 percent.”

  Ward 3 Councillor Anthony Cogliandro said he supports the request. “I run Revere Karate Academy, and right now, half of my enrollment is out because either the students themselves or a family member has COVID,” he said. “We’ve been wearing masks now for the last week, and I fully support this motion.”

  Morabito said he believes the matter is one of urgency and asked for a roll call vote as City Council President Gerry Visconti moved to put the motion into committee for further discussion.

  “Councillor Morabito, while I appreciate your motion, and I understand it, we do have a Board of Health here that has done a tremendous job bringing us up to about 82 percent vaccinated,” said Visconti. “I believe that if they felt the need to enforce a mask mandate for the city of Revere, that they would have already done so. That being said, I’m happy to put it in committee so we can have some discussions with the Board of Health and [Health Director] Lauren Buck before making this decision for the rest of the city of Revere.”

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