NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts (WWLP) – The Northampton Board of Health has decided not to vote on a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for some businesses in the city.
According to a press release sent to 22News by Merridith O’Leary, Northampton’s Public Health Director, the decision was made at Thursday night’s meeting after discussing current COVID-19-based data from board members and community input.
In December, the Council had considered vaccination requirements for those aged 5 and over as additional protection in businesses such as restaurants, bars, clubs and gyms. The Council ruled that “this requirement would have made sense if the recent increase in transmission is caused by the original strain of the virus, against which vaccines have been developed to protect with great effectiveness, and if it was certain that such demands would prevent transmission.” decrease significantly in these environments, as well as in the general population. However, this is not the case with mutations that have occurred in the virus and with breakthrough infections in vaccinated people.”
“The Health Council will not discuss vaccine requirements at future meetings unless data indicates that such a requirement would be necessary or helpful,” O’Leary said.
The council continues to urge the public to wear masks in public settings, maintain social distancing, wash hands and isolate when exposed to, testing positive for, or being sick with COVID-19. The next meeting will be held on January 20, 2022, with public comments beginning at 5:30 PM.