CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's statewide mask mandate has been lifted, but local ordinances requiring the use of face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus remain in place in several communities.
Nashua was the first city to enact an ordinance requiring masks in May. The rules remain in place while the city's board of health develops criteria for removing them, according to the city's website.
Similar ordinances were enacted in Concord, Portsmouth, Keene and Durham. Concord's ordinance is set to expire June 1, Durham's expires June 5 and Portsmouth's on June 30, though they could be renewed.
“The lifting of the state-wide mandate by the Governor does not diminish the importance of wearing a face mask,” said Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig. “The threat to public health from COVID-19 is real.”
New Hampshire was the last state in New England to adopt a statewide mask mandate in November and was the first to lift it. In addition to dropping the mask requirement, the state also will eliminate remaining restrictions on businesses and replace industry-specific rules with universal safety recommendations on May 7.
In other coronavirus developments:
Nearly 91,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 423 cases announced Friday. Two new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,266.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 357 on March 31 to 441 on Wednesday.