Lamont officially grants city leaders the ability to demand masks indoors
As the state continues to fight the surge in Covid-19 cases, Governor Ned Lamont signed a decree that offers city leaders the option of requiring masks in indoor public places in their respective cities for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
As previously stated, several municipalities in Fairfield County have already done so.
Lamont’s action means city leaders now have the option to go beyond the minimum requirements of the state’s mask policy implemented by the governor in May.
The statewide policy, which remains in effect and has not changed, is as follows:
- Unvaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public places.
- Everyone must wear masks regardless of their vaccination status within certain settings, such as health establishments, establishments housing vulnerable populations, public and private transport, correctional establishments, schools and daycares , in accordance with an order of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Health (DPH).
- Masks are not compulsory outside.
- Individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear masks indoors if required by order of the Commissioner of Special Environments or by a municipality.
- Businesses, private owners, and state and local government offices may require that masks be worn by everyone inside their own facilities.
Lamont said he issued the order at the request of city leaders who wanted to revert to universal mask requirements that were implemented near the start of the pandemic. However, the governor said he does not believe universal masking should be required statewide at this time, noting that there are many cities in Connecticut that have achieved exceptionally high vaccination rates. .
“Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates in the entire country, and for that, the people of our state must be applauded,” he noted. “That being said, some pockets of the state are lagging behind others, and some leaders in those regions have called for the ability to require everyone to wear masks until they can raise their rates. vaccination.
“While I continue to strongly advise everyone to wear masks indoors in public places as recommended by the CDC, I urge everyone to get vaccinated as it is the best thing you can do. to protect you from this ongoing virus, ”Lamont said.
In preparation for the upcoming school year, the DPH and the Connecticut State Department of Education are reviewing and, if necessary, updating state policies requiring masks in schools. . This updated policy will be posted before the start of the next school year.
However, it should be noted that until this policy is released, Lamont’s statewide mask policy and ordinances continue to require everyone to wear masks at home. inside schools, regardless of their vaccination status.
Executive Order No. 13A also changes the effective date of a new law passed by the state legislature this summer, forcing it to take effect immediately rather than its originally scheduled date of October 1. Article 6 of Public Law 21-185 allows the DPH to require the screening of staff and residents of nursing homes for an infectious disease during an epidemic at a frequency determined by the department.
Under the newly enacted law, Dr Deidre Gifford, who serves as the acting commissioner of the DPH, plans to require all staff in unvaccinated nursing homes statewide to receive weekly tests for Covid- 19.