As of today, Connecticut has a new set of COVID-19 safety protocols regarding the use of face masks, as a result of the updated recommendations released late last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Tuesday evening, effective immediately through July 20, 2021:
“any person while indoors in a public place who does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person and who is not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering. A person shall be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the final recommended dose of a vaccine approved for use against COVID-19 by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or as otherwise defined by the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, all persons shall use masks or cloth face coverings in any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing or similar service, commercial aircraft, or any means of mass public transit, or while within any airport, bus or train station, enclosed transit stop or waiting area, homeless shelter or correctional facility.”
Previous exceptions are still allowed, including not wearing masks for medical reasons or while eating. Masks are still required in school and early childhood settings. The order also permits businesses and local governments to adopt “universal or employee-only mask requirements.” Proof of vaccination will not be required, however, for people who are not wearing masks. Details are posted on the state’s website.
The new order means:
- Masks are not required
- Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks
- Unvaccinated people must continue to wear masks
- Businesses, state and local government offices and events may choose to require universal masking
- Masks will still be required in certain settings such as healthcare facilities, facilities housing vulnerable populations, public and private transportation, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare locations.
In addition to the revised order, the Connecticut Department of Public Health on May 19 will issue revised recommendations and considerations for masks in businesses, large gatherings and events, and other settings, as well as more detailed descriptions of the settings where masks will continue to be required.
Many national retailers in Connecticut have announced they will not require vaccinated customers to wear masks, including CVS, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart.
What does that mean for Wilton?
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice issued her update last night specifying that masking in Town of Wilton non-school municipal buildings will follow the executive order:
- Non-fully-vaccinated persons shall wear a mask or a face covering as described in the executive order.
- Masks are optional for fully vaccinated persons.
She said the town is awaiting rules from the Commissioner of Early Childhood Services that may impact children participating in indoor programming offered at Comstock Community Center. Officials will share that information when it becomes available.
While mask-wearing in town buildings will follow the new guidelines, members of the public still are not able to access Town Hall or the Town Annex until Tuesday, June 1. Work is being done in those two buildings to upgrade security measures found in other Wilton town-owned buildings and other municipal buildings across Connecticut and the country. Vanderslice said officials are phasing in measures beginning on June 1 and throughout the summer, and further details on public access will be provided then.
Masks will continue to be required at all Wilton Public Schools buildings through the remainder of the year. Superintendent Kevin Smith sent an email Monday reiterating that all Wilton Public Schools students and staff will continue to wear masks while at school.
The Riverbrook Regional YMCA/Wilton Family Y has updated its mask policy to align with Lamont’s new order.
As of Wednesday, May 19, 2021, individuals who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask while inside the YMCA. However, anyone who has not been fully vaccinated is required to adhere to the CDC’s and CT State guidelines and continue to wear a mask while indoors at the Y.
The YMCA will continue to require masks for staff and participants in childcare settings, including those in classes or lessons with participants under the age of 12.
Members and staff who do not feel comfortable going mask-free for any reason should continue to wear a mask or face covering.
Because Wilton Library serves all ages of the community, masks covering noses and mouths are still required for now. Library officials are reviewing all of the CDC, local and state guidelines and will be announcing some changes in the weeks to come.
GOOD Morning Wilton will continue to update this story with more changes and announcements to mask policies at locations around Wilton. Hear of any changes to report? Let us know by email.