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NH won't issue mask mandate ahead of Trump's rally

"We expect folks to wear a mask. We've heard from the Trump campaign, folks will wear a mask," N.H. Gov. Sununu said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Credit: AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the BOK Center, Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — As coronavirus cases remain steady in New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu once again said Tuesday officials will not issue a statewide mask mandate ahead of President Donald Trump's rally this weekend.

Trump is scheduled to hold a rally at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease at 8 p.m. Saturday.

"We expect folks to wear a mask. We've heard from the Trump campaign, folks will wear a mask," Sununu said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

The governor said the campaign plans to hand out hand sanitizer and masks for attendees. He said that the campaign was flying in, taking motorcades to the event and then leaving.

He also added that Trump had the right to hold the rally and New Hampshire has not stopped peaceful Black Lives Matter marches and Reopen New Hampshire protests during the pandemic.

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It was on Thursday that Sununu removed a 14-day quarantine requirement for residents visiting from Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island.

If residents are visiting anywhere other than New England, Sununu said the 14-day quarantine requirement still stands due to the high number of coronavirus cases in other states.

When asked Tuesday by the media how the 14-day quarantine requirement impacts those attending Saturday's rally, Sununu said it won't, pointing to the fact it is a one-day event.

The governor said he plans to greet the president when he lands for the event but will not attend the rally himself.

"I won't be in the crowd of thousands of people," he said. "As the governor, I have to be extra cautious for myself and my family."

The state reported two new deaths Tuesday as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The death toll in the Granite State has now risen to 384, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

There were 19 new positive cases reported for a total of 5,932 statewide Tuesday.

In making the decision, the governor said the rate of coronavirus cases were looked at in each state over the last few days. It was determined that the other states were on par with New Hampshire where positive tests have remained below 5% for the past month and hospitalizations for the virus have also been low.

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