Newtown has lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated individuals indoors as the case rate per 100,000 dropped over the last four weeks from 17.2 to 7.7. First Selectman Dan Rosenthal previously said one goal was to have the town move out of the state Department of Public Health's Red Zone. Newtown is now in the Yellow Zone. The Newtown Legislative Council will not have to take up the matter when they meet next week.
Danbury led the way in local municipalities putting a mask mandate in place for public spaces regardless of vaccination status. Mayor Joe Cavo asked surrounding towns to follow suit, and Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, Redding and Ridgefield did. Since then, a few other towns updated their metrics for getting rid of the requirement and Ridgefield lifted it in that town. First Selectman Rudy Marconi cited the town's low infection rate at 8.3 cases per 100,000 population.
Mayor Joe Cavo doesn't have specific benchmarks for when the City will lift the mandate, but would like to see infections drop to the early summer levels before the Delta variant started circulating.
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker announced Friday that he is looking to have the rate of infections to fall below 10 per 100,000 population, and the positivity rate to drop below 2-percent. Bethel is at 10.1 cases and 3.3 percent.
Brookfield plans to keep its mask mandate in place until the case rate falls below 10 and the positivity rate is under 3 percent.
Cavo acknowledged receiving emails from residents and businesses about the low infection rate, questioning why the mandate is still in place. He believes face coverings indoors is what's keeping the numbers low. In other parts of the state, the numbers are much higher which Cavo believes is because those municipalities don't have a mask mandate.
He and Health Director Kara Prunty hold nearly daily discussions and are waiting to see what the numbers do now that school is back in session and the colder weather has people moving social gatherings indoors. If the plateau in cases means Delta has moved on, the City could roll back the mandate. But Cavo says he wants to be as cautious as possible so that the health system isn't inundated with new cases.