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Lamont allows local leaders to mandate indoor mask-wearing

Danbury's two week rolling average COVID-19 infection rate is 1.9 percent, up slightly from the week before at 1.6 percent.  When it comes to municipalities being able to implement stronger masking requirements in indoor locations, Mayor Joe Cavo plans to keep the mask mandate at City Hall and not expand to an order for private businesses.  But he is monitoring local COVID conditions and says if tighter restrictions are put in place, it should be done on a a regional level.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday signed an executive order that allows municipal leaders to enact mask mandates for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people while inside public places.

This latest order allows municipal leaders to move beyond Lamont’s current edict, which requires only unvaccinated people to wear masks while inside public places. It also requires everyone to wear them in specific settings, such as health care facilities, prisons, day care sites and public and private transit.

“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,” the Democrat said in a written statement.

Also Thursday, Lamont signed an order that will ultimately enable Dr. Deidre Gifford, the acting public health commissioner, to require all unvaccinated nursing home staff to be tested weekly for COVID-19. This move comes as public health officials plan to visit every nursing home to check on the number of employees who’ve been vaccinated. Federal data show at least 16 facilities in the state have staff vaccination rates below 50%.

Lamont has said his administration is also discussing the possibility of requiring nursing home workers to be vaccinated.

State statistics from July 21 to Aug. 3 indicate there were 48 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among nursing home staff. Among residents, there were 51 cases and three deaths.  To date, there has been a total of 8,296 COVID-19-associated deaths in Connecticut, an increase of three since last week.

All new positive cases of COVID-19 recorded over the past week stemmed from the delta variant.

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