Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to detail the city’s position on unvaccinated employees.
All visitors to Haverhill’s public buildings as well as unvaccinated employees working alone must wear masks starting Wednesday to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Mayor James J. Fiorentini ordered the mask mandate begin Wednesday and it affects buildings including the public library, police and fire stations, Citizens Center and all Public Works Department buildings. All city employees must wear masks when working with the public, subject to negotiations with unions with the aim of requiring vaccinations. Any new hires must show proof of vaccination prior to employment, the administration said.
“Haverhill, like every other city, is seeing a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus,” Fiorentini said. “Ninety percent of all Haverhill’s new cases are people who are not vaccinated. While there are infections among vaccinated people, by and large they are not serious and have not required hospitalization.”
Haverhill’s order is similar to those issued by Gov. Charlie Baker, affecting everyone who works at the executive level, and Boston’s Acting Mayor Kim Janey.
The mayor said, “It is critical that we take steps immediately to protect the public and to protect the vast majority of our employees who are vaccinated.” He added the final and formal approval of the Pfizer vaccine means “there is no longer any reason not to be vaccinated.”