By Jim Hyde

Selectboard passed a masking regulation for Charlotte’s town buildings

At last Monday’s meeting the Selectboard passed a masking regulation for Charlotte’s town buildings. I would like to applaud them and especially acknowledge Chair Jim Faulkner’s leadership in getting the proposed regulation on the agenda. The Selectboard listened to community concerns, solicited input from town employees and consulted with those affected at the Senior Center and Library. The regulation passed by a vote of 5 to 0.

We are entering a worrisome time here in Vermont as case counts driven by the Delta variant have doubled since July. While we can hope that the Omicron variant will not prove as ominous as some fear, we have at our disposal infection control tools that work. There is no question that masking is an effective and essential part of any infection control strategy. Together with vaccination, physical distancing and occupancy limits we can control the course of events.

The regulation as passed is not as inclusive as I would have liked. It only applies to the town’s three municipal buildings and must be renewed in 30 days. However, it does send several important messages. It acknowledges the gravity of the threat to the public’s health. It reminds us that we have effective controls at our disposal and it tells us we have elected leaders who are concerned about the health of the town’s residents and employees. Kudos to the Selectboard for their leadership.

Jim Hyde
Associate Professor of
Public Health Emeritus
Tufts University School of Medicine