New COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Massachusetts, leading some to consider if there might be cause for concern just as things are beginning to return to a sense of normalcy.

Boston's CBS 4 reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that "the Omicron subvariant BA.2 now accounts for more than 70 percent of the cases in the northeast." The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 2,430 new confirmed cases of COVID on Monday.

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Several folks have asked what impact COVID might have on next week's Dartmouth Annual Town Election and whether face masks might be required to enter a polling place to vote. Some worry they might be turned away and not be allowed to vote if they are not masked and did not have proof of vaccination.

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The Dartmouth Board of Health told me there is no mask requirement to vote at this time, though residents may wear masks to the polls if they choose to. Nor is there a requirement that voters show proof of vaccination against COVID.

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Keep in mind that things can change quickly, as we have already seen with COVID, so voters should monitor the Board of Health's website for any new developments. It might not hurt to put a mask in your pocket to be sure. It never hurts to be prepared.

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Dartmouth voters face a full slate of candidates for public office and Town Meeting seats. In addition, there is a non-binding public opinion advisory question that asks, "Do you support keeping the Dartmouth Indian symbol with Native Imagery as the Dartmouth School System's symbol?"

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Dartmouth's Annual Town Election is Tuesday, April 5. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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