OpinionPossible COVID surge could provide early test for Maura...

Possible COVID surge could provide early test for Maura Healey

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A possible surge in COVID-19 instances this winter might present an early check for Gov.-elect Maura Healey and put the state a step nearer to returning to masks and vaccine mandates.

The place Healey will come down on these thorny points surrounding COVID is unclear since she hasn’t offered any detailed plan how she would take care of one other virus wave.

However the Democrat will face stress from all sides — anti-maskers and lecturers’ unions and the state police union – within the coming months if a brand new pressure of COVID does make a powerful comeback. The lecturers backed her marketing campaign and Healey may be extra more likely to take their aspect in any coming battle.

In Massachusetts, a brand new COVID subvariant is inflicting concern that instances will surge this winter – even amongst individuals who have been vaccinated.

The Boston Public Well being Fee has urged residents to get boosted, examined and put on masks indoors in the course of the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation season to forestall a brand new surge of instances from overwhelming hospitals.

“Staying updated with COVID-19 vaccinations, getting a flu shot, carrying a well-fitted masks whereas touring and testing for COVID-19 earlier than gathering are vital methods to guard  your self and your loved ones and mates in the course of the vacation season,” mentioned Bisola Ojikutu, commissioner of Public Well being.

And simply final week in Los Angeles, officers went again to “strongly recommending” masking indoors to take care of a rising variety of COVID instances.

Healey has not given any prolonged interviews since successful the election – conserving a surprisingly low profile regardless of her election mandate. She hasn’t been requested about how she would take care of a wave of COVID.

As a candidate, Healey imposed vaccine mandates on her workers and he or she mentioned she supported Gov. Charlie Baker’s mandates for state workers like state troopers – in addition to Baker’s determination to provide exceptions for non secular or medical causes to a small variety of workers.

State police are actually preventing Baker’s vaccine mandate, however Healey has mentioned she believes it’s authorized to bar workers from their jobs in the event that they don’t get vaccinated.

“It’s the proper transfer,” Legal professional Basic Healey mentioned of Baker’s determination final yr. “By way of legality, it’s completely authorized in my opinion.”

She informed WGBH in August 2021 that she didn’t assume the mandates have been “onerous” – a place in direct odds along with her GOP opponent, Geoff Diehl.

“The vaccine is on the market, the FDA has permitted it and that’s why I feel we see not solely authorities businesses however…venues and companies and employers simply typically transferring within the route of taking the steps to require people to be vaccinated.”

However issues have modified since Healey made these feedback. The state rescinded indoor masks mandates and President Biden declared the epidemic over.

Healey will face a powerful backlash if she tries to return the state to masking mandates, or require all state workers to get vaccinated.

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