Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order that gives Connecticut town and city officials the authority to dictate universal mask requirements.
The executive order, Executive Order No. 13A, provides municipal leaders the option of requiring masks in indoor public places for their respective towns and cities. If implemented, the requirement would apply to all people, regardless of vaccination status.
The executive order was issued at the request of municipal leaders across the state who wanted to return to the universal mask requirements that were previously in place.
“Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates in the entire nation, and for that the residents of our state are to be applauded,” Lamont said in a statement. “That being said, there are some pockets of the state that are lagging behind others, and some leaders in those areas have requested the option of requiring everyone to wear masks until they can get their vaccination rates higher. While I continue to strongly advise that everyone wear masks while inside of public locations as recommended by the CDC, I urge everyone to get vaccinated because it’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself from this ongoing virus.”
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Lamont said the current statewide mask policy has not changed and will remain in effect. This means that people who are unvaccinated will still have to wear masks indoors, and everyone must wear masks in certain places such as healthcare facilities, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare, regardless of vaccination status.
The current statewide mask policy also states that businesses, private property owners, and state and local government offices can require masks to be worn in their respective facilities.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said Friday that his staff is looking over the governor's executive order and "it's pretty safe to say" the city will implement a mask mandate across the city.
The state Department of Public Health and Department of Education are currently reviewing and, if necessary, updating statewide policies requiring masks in school. The updated policy will be available before the start of the upcoming school year.
That same executive order will now require unvaccinated nursing home staff to receive weekly COVID-19 testing. A previous law had this going in effect Oct. 1, but Executive Order No. 13A changed the effective date, requiring it to start immediately.