COVID-19 is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, and can spread before symptoms develop. Face masks that cover your mouth and nose can prevent the spread of transmission in two ways:
- Prevent infectious individuals from spreading their respiratory droplets.
- Act as a barrier by preventing respiratory droplets from entering into the wearer’s nose and mouth.
Face Masks Encouraged in Nashua
The State of New Hampshire (NH) is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People in regards to face mask use. As we continue to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services (DPHCS) recommends the following:
- All people, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a face mask in public indoor settings in areas with substantial community transmission. Data trends can be found on the State's COVID-19 Data Dashboard.
- Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, immunocompromised, or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, should wear a face mask when in public indoor locations at any level of community transmission. This also applies to individuals who have someone in their household who is not fully vaccinated, immunocompromised, or at increased risk of severe disease.
- Fully vaccinated individuals who have a known exposure to a household contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested 3 to 5 days after exposure, and wear a face mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
In addition, the City of Nashua's Board of Health highly recommend the following:
- Persons who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a face mask for their own protection and that of others until they are fully vaccinated or until the appropriate health organization deems it safe to not wear a face mask. In accordance with CDC recommendations, unvaccinated persons are recommended to stay six feet apart from those they do not live with and are recommended to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Persons with conditions who are taking medications that weaken their immune system should continue to take all precautions even if they are fully vaccinated as they may not be fully protected.
- People traveling on public transportation (planes, trains, buses), in large crowds in indoor settings, and at healthcare facilities are required to continue wearing face masks in accordance with federal guidelines.
- Local businesses should establish their own policies and protocols with regard to face mask use to protect their staff and patrons. Essential businesses, at a minimum, should establish hours, processes or environments where face masks must be worn for the comfort and safety of vulnerable persons.
- Businesses are encouraged to weigh the risks of protecting the patrons and their staff. If a business requires face mask wearing, this would mean both vaccinated and unvaccinated people must comply as at present, they would not have any universally accepted way to distinguish between the two.
- Schools should continue to require face mask use until students are vaccinated, but the final decision remains with the City's Board of Education.