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Manchester school district says masks optional in classrooms

By The Associated Press - | Jun 9, 2021

Illustration by Peter Hamlin.;

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The public school district in New Hampshire’s largest city is requiring masks for students and staff only for moving around in a building.

Masks are now optional inside Manchester classrooms, effective immediately, WMUR-TV reported Tuesday.

School district officials said they made the change because of a decrease in community transmission of COVID-19 and in the school district.

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PORTSMOUTH MASK ORDINANCE

Portsmouth is the latest city in New Hampshire to repeal its mask ordinance.

The City Council voted Monday to repeal the mandate, effective immediately, Seacoastonline.com reported. It had been set to expire on June 30. The council voted against a motion to amend the repeal so that the mask mandate would stay in place indoors only through June 30.

City businesses have reported they are starting to see fewer customers because the mask mandate remained in effect, while other communities revoked their mandates, Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine said.

“We are losing business. That’s the message that we’re hearing,” Splaine said. “We’re beginning to look kind of foolish by continuing it.”

Durham also rescinded its mask mandate on Monday. Exeter and Newmarket ended theirs, and others did not have one.

Separately, the city put out a notice that indoor seating in Portsmouth restaurants may return to normal capacity, still complying with all applicable codes.

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THE NUMBERS

Nearly 99,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Hampshire, including 36 cases announced Monday. Two new deaths were announced, for a total of 1,357.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 82 new cases per day on May 23 to 31 new cases per day on Sunday.

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