Sununu says he has no plans to require masks

Laconia Daily Sun
Published: 7/29/2020 1:20:45 PM

More than half of U.S. states require people to wear masks in public. And now that Vermont has set a mandate effective Aug. 1, that leaves New Hampshire as the lone New England state without a mask requirement. Gov. Chris Sununu reiterated this week that he doesn’t plan to create such a requirement even as Motorcycle Week and a NASCAR race approach.

Answering a question from the Laconia Daily Sun, Sununu said at a news conference that he recommends that people wear masks and said he has observed that people are doing so voluntarily.

He said many businesses are also requiring it and he doesn’t see a need for a state requirement at this time.

“We could go down that road if we wanted to, but people wearing masks have skyrocketed,” he said. “There are very few people without a mask on hand. It’s up to individuals to wear it in those situations.

“A mandatory mask order is not an end-all, be-all. There’s very little way to enforce such an order. At the end of the day, it’s up to the people.

“It’s hard to go out and not see a vast number of people wearing masks. I feel like every time I’m putting a mask on, it’s important. It’s not to protect you as much as it is to protect everybody around you.”

The New Hampshire Science and Public Health Task Force, a group of scientists, physicians and health care professionals, supports a mandatory mask requirement.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Sununu also said that when a coronavirus vaccine is made available he wouldn’t seek to immediately require it for schoolchildren. Instead, he would wait to see if legislation were passed to add it to the list of required student inoculations and would support it at that time.

His comments came as thousands of people, many from out of state, make plans to come to a NASCAR Cup Series race in Loudon on Aug. 2 and Motorcycle Week in Laconia on Aug. 22-30.

There will be reduced attendance at the race to promote social distancing. For Motorcycle Week, the typical vendor booths will be absent.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.


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