Newport to reinstate mask requirement for city-owned buildings

East Bay

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Citing a rise in COVID-19 cases both locally and nationally, Newport is preparing to once again require everyone to wear masks while inside city-owned buildings.

The decision follows the release of updated masking guidelines by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Visitors and employees will be required to wear masks inside city buildings beginning Aug. 2, according to a city spokesperson.

Buildings that will be reinstating the mask mandates include, but are not limited to, Newport City Hall, Maritime Center and Police Department.

Newport City Manager Joe Nicholson tells 12 News it’s just one of the ways Newport is being proactive.

“The majority of the workforce in Newport is vaccinated, but there is that small smidge of workers that have decided not to get vaccinated, so it’s to protect them as well,” he said.

This comes soon after Provincetown reinstated its own mask mandate following a surge in cases. Block Island is also considering issuing another indoor mask requirement.

When asked whether the city is considering reinstating an indoor mask mandate for all public places, Nicholson said not at this time.

“It’s a minor inconvenience,” he said. “It is an inconvenience to wear a mask, we all know that. So sure, we’re just asking people to mask up at city hall … It’s an active building, people are in and out of it all day.”

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