Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker has been fielding a number of questions about when the town's indoor mask mandate will be lifted. He says local health officials and the area town leaders are looking to the rate of new infections to fall below 10 per 100,000 population, and the positivity rate to drop below 2-percent.
Knickerbocker says the numbers seem to have stabilized and he is hopeful cases will drop over the next few weeks. Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Redding and Ridgefield issued the mandate on August 16th. Newtown followed suit shortly after.
The order in Newtown is in effect through October 6th, when the Legislative Council next meets. But First Selectman Dan Rosenthal noted that the mandate could be lifted sooner if COVID-19 cases declined. Newtown was in the state's Red Zone for COVID-19 community spread when the mandate was put in place, but is now in the Yellow Zone. Red is for towns with 15 or more cases per 100,000 population. Newtown now has 7.7 cases per 100,000.
According to the latest COVID-19 data from the state Department of Public Health, Bethel's COVID-19 infection rate has remained virtually flat from last reporting period at 3.3-percent, with 10.1 cases per 100,000 population. Brookfield is at 4.7 percent infection rate, up from 4 percent the week before.
Danbury's COVID-19 test positivity rate has dropped again from the last reporting period to 3.3-percent from 4-percent. 115 cases have been reported to the state between September 5th and 18th. That's 9.7 cases per 100,000 population.
New Fairfield's COVID-19 infection rate over the last two weeks reported has declined significantly from 6.8 percent to 3.9 percent. New Fairfield is hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics twice a week throughout the month of September.
New Milford's rate also dipped from the previous week to 2.4 percent while Newtown's rate held steady at 3.1 percent. Redding's COVID-19 infection rate has climbed a bit over the last two weeks reported to 3.7-percent. Ridgefield's rate declined from 3-percent to 2.6.