The Oak Bluffs board of health is considering adopting a mandatory mask rule in the downtown area, similar to one adopted by the town of Nantucket this week.

At a meeting Tuesday, board of health members said they were concerned about crowds and congestion as the Island begins to fill up with summer visitors.

“It’s getting to a point where we may need to [mandate masks] just to make it easier for everyone,” said board member Tom Zino. “We have people coming in from all different areas of the country.”

Health agent Meegan Lancaster agreed.

“People don’t have a sense of what six feet is, and our sidewalks are typically narrow and crowded so it’s difficult to maintain that six feet of separation,” she said.

Ms. Lancaster said the situation is frustrating because from a public health perspective, mask wearing and social distancing “are supposed to exist in an ecosystem. And the way this has been promoted as, if you have six feet of distance don’t worry about the masks, what happens when someone sneezes, shouts or speaks loudly. Clearly those types of droplets carry further than six feet. It’s absolutely preferable to have people have masks on their face all the time when interacting with people, six feet or not.”

Board members decided to consult with town counsel Ron Rappaport for help on drafting a regulation with clearly defined areas where masks are required.

The Oak Bluffs harbor was another topic of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting. With recreational boat traffic picking up throughout the month of June, especially on weekends, board members expressed concern over boaters rafting in the mooring field.

Oak Bluffs has had a policy that allows rafting of up to four boats per mooring. But this summer due to the pandemic, state guidelines for recreational boating suggest no rafting should be allowed, and that boaters should maintain a safe distance from other recreational watercraft.

Open moorings are available on a first-come first-served basis, as usual. But new town marina rules require boaters to ask permission before rafting up with other boats. Those on the mooring first have the right to deny others shared space.

Board of health member Jim Butterick said if rafting is going to be allowed, “there’s an easy way to say, you can’t come to the shore: the launch can’t pick you up.” He continued:

“These are people who are coming from various harbors on the Cape. We have no idea who they are and no idea how much they’ve done in terms of mask wearing and social distancing. This is a high-risk group of people.”

The board agreed to draft a letter to harbor master Todd Alexander, the harbor advisory committee and the selectmen outlining their concerns. The letter will request that the suggested regulations from the state be enforced, and that the officials come back to the board of health with a plan.

Selectman Jason Balboni, who attended the meeting, acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing a no-rafting rule in the harbor. “I think you’re going to find Todd [the harbor master] is going to have another issue like everything else with enforcement. It’s going to be a full-time job for somebody who has the authority to keep people from rafting up,” Mr. Balboni said.

He added: “We’re probably understaffed for everything we’re trying to do and that’s just another example.”