Mask Mandate Considered for the Big E

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The West Springfield Board of Health is considering a mask mandate for the upcoming Big E to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

At a special meeting staged Wednesday, Dr. Heather Sankey, the board’s chair, said she feared the 17-day fair, slated to begin Sept. 17, could become a super-spreader event.

The Board of Health is planning a public hearing before the start of the fair to consider a mask mandate, and could vote to require masks indoors and at large outdoor events.

The Big E drew more than 1.6 million visitors in 2019. Big E officials are encouraging those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face covering while on the fairgrounds.