Marpe Clarifies Mask Rules

First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

We are aware that there has been some confusion around the mask wearing protocols since both the guidance and regulations on mask wearing and social distancing have recently changed. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state or local laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

According to the state Department of Public Health, masks are no longer required outdoors. Those who are vaccinated are not required to wear a mask in indoor settings. However, some businesses, state and local government offices, and certain events and event venues, still require universal masking. Masks will still be required in healthcare facilities, facilities serving vulnerable populations, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare facilities. Those who are not vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors when unable to maintain a six-foot distance from others.

Some places still require masks. Don’t abandon all of yours just yet. (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Masks continue to be required for all visitors of Town Hall, indoor town facilities and the Westport Library. We also suggest wearing a mask when in crowded conditions — even outdoors.

Business owners and event operators should consider requiring customers to wear a mask when they are inside an establishment or at a large indoor event or private gathering if the space is not designed for continuous social distancing. If not specifically required, these establishments should consider posting signage indicating that unvaccinated customers must wear a mask and any customer is invited to wear a mask if they are more comfortable doing so.

We are encouraged by the results of the vaccine distribution and the dramatic slowing of the spread experienced in the state, and particularly in Westport. This weekend, we are hoping for good weather for at least part of the time and to be able to conduct the parade as planned. In addition to attending the parade, I hope that you will visit downtown on Saturday and Sunday for the Westport Fine Arts Festival, sponsored by the Westport Downtown Association.

I wish you all a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend as we continue to emerge from COVID and begin resuming activities in a manner that we were accustomed to prior to the pandemic.

4 responses to “Marpe Clarifies Mask Rules

  1. Adrian J LIttle

    Sorry but how is this not still confusing?

    “Those who are vaccinated are not required to wear a mask in indoor settings ”
    “except where required by federal, state or local laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

    So are we down to individual business owners deciding if unmasked customers are allowed in their stores?
    Are masked customers allowed to feel uncomfortable about unmasked ones and ask them to mask up…

    Sorry but this is still very ambiguous and clarifies nothing.

    • Mike Hobbs

      Actually, it does clarify something:

      The scientific experts at the CDC say masking is no longer required.

      But for some reason, local businesses and town officials who have no scientific background can decide otherwise.

      And therefore, we now have inconsistencies all over the place.

      We now have the vaccine, and anyone can get it. This is as good as it’s going to get. We’re not waiting for anything new. I don’t understand (a) why masking is still required, and (b) if so, what will be the trigger to lift masking requirements and any other restrictions.

      Again, the vaccines are out there. This is as good as it’s going to get. We are NOT waiting for anything more. If not now, then we’re never going back to life the way it was before the pandemic. If some people haven’t been vaccinated yet, they’ve made the choice to live with the consequences. We need to move on.

      • Lisa Newman

        Mike, I understand what you are saying but please remember there is one more thing we’re waiting on: vaccine approval for ages 2-11. The recent updates have made it difficult for many parents to safely bring children into businesses/stores given the possibility of unmasked, unvaccinated adults in those same locations.

  2. Clark Thiemann

    Im someone who is vaccinated and still wears a mask inside crowded stores. Why?

    1. There still is a decent amount of illness in the US with ~25k new infections a day. As this number continues to fall (as it has been) I will think of masking in fewer situations. The overall risk is falling daily and as these numbers fall I think they can keep evaluating the situation.

    2. I still mask because someone working in the store might not be able to be vaccinated and I don’t want them to be uncomfortable around me as we make this transition to not wearing masks. They don’t know I’m vaccinated. Wearing a mask for 10 minutes is not a big deal and I feel it is respectful while there are still 5-10 people a day dying of COVID in CT.

    We will be out of this soon as the risks keep falling and more get vaccinated!