With Covid-19 transmission falling to levels not seen since last year, East Hampton Town has lifted a mask requirement for those entering town offices and other facilities.
“Beginning immediately, East Hampton Town employees and visitors to town offices and other facilities will no longer be required to wear face masks when inside a town building,” according to a statement issued from Town Hall on Monday.
The lifting of the mask requirement follows a dramatic drop in the seven-day average of new Covid-19 transmission. Suffolk County’s seven-day average stood at 1.9 percent on Saturday. For the week ending Feb. 20, there were no new cases among the 79 tests conducted at the town’s Covid-19 test site at the former Child Development Center of the Hamptons in Wainscott. There was one positive result among 59 tests in the week ending Sunday.
By contrast, back on Jan. 5, Long Island’s seven-day average positive rate stood at 26.76 percent. Statewide, 11,548 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 on Jan. 7. On Sunday that number had fallen to 1,911.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now tracking Covid-19 case levels in counties nationwide based on the rate of hospital admissions for Covid-19 and the number of hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients, as well as the total number of new cases in each county per week, assigning a score of low, medium, or high.
Indoor mask wearing is advised only in areas of high community levels of Covid-19, the town’s statement says, and Suffolk is currently listed as low. The statement urges those with symptoms of Covid-19 infection, who test positive for Covid-19, or have been exposed to the virus to continue to wear a mask. Those at high risk for severe illness or who are unvaccinated “may choose to wear a mask,” the statement says.
A statewide school mask mandate will be lifted as of Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced.
“I am very pleased that we have reached this milestone,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in the statement, “and we look forward to resuming in-person meetings in the near future.”
The statement adds that the town’s Covid-related policies, which are based on C.D.C. and State Health Department guidance as well as advice from its consulting epidemiologist, remain subject to revision based on conditions.