LONDONDERRY — Town councilors have asked administrative officials to work on a document that could put added safety measures in place if or when there are coronavirus spikes in town.
And although officials credit the town of Londonderry for its continued low numbers and safety protocols, it will be a good source to have just as an added tool in the safety toolbox.
At the Council's Monday night meeting, the agenda item listed was a "general mask ordinance discussion" but the talk soon swerved away from any definitive desire on any councilor's part to instill a mandatory mask ordinance in town.
Most agreed that it's more of a safety document that fire Chief Darren O'Brien could use as an added tool if there were to be spiking numbers of the virus, and then could put added measures in place.
"There is no mandated ordinance coming out of the town tonight," Chairman John Farrell said. "It's just a discussion."
Farrell pointed out that businesses, churches, schools, and town buildings require masks to be worn, but he said no one is looking to mandate people wear them in public at this time.
"But in the event of an outbreak, this would give emergency management the tools to prepare them to do something," Farrell said.
O'Brien stated the community has done well, only two new coronavirus cases reported Monday and many days last week of no new cases.
Councilors offered several degrees of opinion on masks.
Councilor Tom Dolan said many people are not able to successfully wear masks, including very small children, or people with health issues.
Dolan said he wears a mask when he knows he can't social distance, and wants to lead by example. But having any sort of "ordinance" in place is too much government overreach, he added.
"I would prefer to use common sense, have people use their own judgment," Dolan said.
Dolan also didn't anticipate any mass outbreak of the virus since Londonderry has done so well.
Councilor Deb Paul said wearing a mask is a personal choice.
"It's still America, people still have personal choices," she said.
O'Brien said the document would be a good thing to have.
"Londonderry has been leading the way," he said, although with recent crowds gathered at a President Trump rally near the airport several weeks ago, and with schools opening, there is always a chance of numbers climbing.
"This is a tool if something was to hit the fan," O'Brien said, "and we needed to react quickly and we could. But I don't think we need it right now, but all the predictions going forward, things could get much worse this fall. We would have it in place if needed."
Farrell recommended having town staff draft up a safety-inspired document so if there ever were an outbreak, there's a plan in place on what to do.