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Mixed Reaction As Newton Prepares To Lift Indoor Mask Mandate

NEWTON (CBS) -- Signs designated to enforce wearing masks indoors are about to come down in businesses in Newton this weekend as the city plans to end its mask mandate at midnight.

But opinions among residents are mixed.

"Keep the masks on for a couple more months, and let's see how it goes for the summer," resident Margarita Zitkezicz told WBZ-TV.

Another resident said, "I'm not wearing one now. So that's my take on it."

The city says a big factor in their decision is that 88% of their residents ages 12 and up are vaccinated.

Nearly 75% of elementary students in Newton Public Schools are vaccinated as well, but some parents say lifting the mandate poses a threat.

"One of the problems is we have children that are still unvaccinated," said resident Kevin Lane. "So there's still elements of exposure that could be a concern in a population highly vulnerable."

Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, everyone will still have the choice to wear a mask.

"It's still great people can have their own choice, If they want to wear a mask in a restaurant or not go to a restaurant, it's totally fine," said Deborah Glickman of Newton.

Newton is the latest to join a growing list of cities and towns easing restrictions as COVID cases decline. On Friday morning, Worcester also dropped its indoor mask mandate and reported their average number of cases is the lowest they've seen since November.

In Newton, local leaders are reminding business owners they can still require people to wear masks inside their establishments.

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