The New Milford Health Department has been fielding a number of calls from businesses in recent days about the latest round of reopening orders. Given the CDC guidance that only unvaccinated people have to wear masks indoors in public places, Director Lisa Morrissey says the most frequent question has been how do they know if someone's been vaccinated.
Establishments can ask patrons to voluntarily answer or show their COVID-19 vaccine card, but they can't mandate people respond or prove inoculation. Morrissey notes that business owners do have the right to refuse service to people who don't comply with the rules they put in place for their establishment. State officials have compared it to the old "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" adage.
Patience and kindness are being called in this new phase of the COVID pandemic. Morrissey and Mayor Pete Bass are asking everyone to be respectful of people's decision to mask or not mask where it's a choice, as it's an individual decision. She also notes there are some people with religious objections to vaccines, those who were advised by a doctors not to get the shot and others who aren't 14 days past their second dose.