Hampstead Officials End Mask Mandate For Town Buildings

By Alex Malm

HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead Board of Selectmen held its bi-montly meeting on June 14.
During the meeting the board of selectmen discussed the communication Committee’s new newsletter that they want to send out to residents. Representing the committee at the meeting was Matt Gillette, the chairperson of the committee.
Their goal is for it to be sent out bi-monthly and would be sent out via email.
It was explained by Gillette that each board and committee has a space on the town’s website where they can upload news and announcements already. Their goal is to get people to sign up for the email list which they will use to send out the newsletters to people. He said that those who sign up will also get a notification any time news and updates are uploaded to the website.
Selectmen Laurie Warnock, who serves as the liaison for the communications committee said that she knows a lot of the information in the newsletters are links but asked if there would be any printed copies as well.
Gillette said that was something he wanted to bring up to the Selectmen to see if there was any interest by the board to have the newsletters digitally or have a combination of the two.
Warnock said that they should print off 10 copies of it for the library and 10 copies for the board of selectmen office.
It was also discussed about whether or not the board of selectmen wanted to preview the newsletters before they are sent.
Board of Selectmen Chair Sean Murphy said that he would like the chance to be able to preview the newsletters before they go out.
Other board members agreed.
Also during the meeting the board of selectmen discussed their mask policies for town buildings.
Going into the meeting masks were still required to be worn in the buildings by both the public along with staff members who work there.
Murphy said that since new guidance has come from both the CDC and the state he felt that it was a good time to look at changing their policies.
Warnock said she talked to some of the departments and they told her that they were okay with no longer having masks be required.
“My thought is that we could probably lift that,” she said.
Selectmen Steve Morse said that he agreed that they should lift the mask policy and make it optional to wear masks inside the town buildings.
“We’re at the point where if you want a vaccine you can get a vaccine, if you want to wear a mask you can wear a mask,” he said.
Selectmen Joseph Guthrie said that he talked to the town clerk recently. He said that they are okay with the mask requirement being lifted and that they have the most exposure to the public.
He was also in favor of having the mask mandate lifted for town owned buildings.
The board of selectmen voted in favor 5-0 for the changes
Murphy asked that the new mask policy be put into effect immediately which the rest of the board agreed with.