Town Hall Update January 7, 2022


In Manchester and Essex, the end of the year saw local mask mandates implemented in all buildings—municipal, federal and businesses—that are open to the public.

The Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea will reinstate an indoor mask mandate at all businesses and public buildings effective at midnight on Thursday, December 30, 2021. The Board of Health voted unanimously in a meeting on December 28 to bring back indoor masking to help mitigate recent COVID variants and prevent further community spread. The mask order will remain in place until further notice.

The Board of Health has been actively reviewing local COVID data, trends and guidance on a weekly basis and determined that reinstating a mask mandate at this time is a necessary step to best protect the Manchester community. The following reasons contributed to the Board’s decision:

  • New CDC guidelines for reduced isolation and quarantine.
  • Positive home COVID tests are not reported to the Board of Health and are not added to weekly case counts.
  • Positive cases in Manchester have increased significantly from Thursday, December 23 to Tuesday, December 28. (December 2021 cases went from 47 last Thursday to 62 on Tuesday)
  • There has been increased pressure on local hospitalizations.

Manchester currently has 81 percent of its eligible population fully vaccinated and reported fourteen active positive cases on Tuesday, December 28. The Board of Health is encouraging residents to get their booster doses. The Town is part of the Greater Cape Ann Community Collaborative (GCACC) which provides first, second and booster dose appointments to anyone over the age of five. Residents can also dial 211 or visit to locate vaccination locations across the state.

Finally, the Board of Health issued a strong recommendation to limit large gatherings during the upcoming New Year’s weekend.

The next Board of Health meeting will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.

Questions can be directed to Ellen Lufkin in the Board of Health Office at or 978-526-7385.

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