Marpe Issues Indoor Mask Mandate

Moments ago, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe announced:

As a regional response to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday (August 23), the towns of Westport, Fairfield and Easton have issued temporary town-wide mask mandates. Neighboring cities of Norwalk, Stamford, and Bridgeport currently have mask mandates in place.

Yesterday, Fairfield County was the 5th county in Connecticut to be moved into the “high transmission” category – the most severe level as defined by the CDC. Hospitalizations in Fairfield County are on the rise. The rise in case levels in Westport for the past 2 weeks will likely place the town into the “substantial transmission” or “red” category this week.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health strongly recommends that all residents over the age of 2 years, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, wear masks when in indoor public spaces. The Governor’s Executive Order No. 13A provides municipal leaders with the option of requiring masks in indoor public places within their respective towns and cities for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Indoor public spaces include retail establishments, restaurants, gyms, workout studios or other businesses, as well as galleries, museums, performance spaces, places of worship and government buildings. Businesses may still require proof of vaccination to enter, but a mask will also be required.

Masks are once again mandated indoors in Westport. (“Mask Quilt” by Amy Schneider)

Westport Weston Health District director of health Mark Cooper said, “The COVID- 19 vaccine is the most powerful tool against infection and severe illness, but the increasing number of breakthrough infections after vaccination are a reminder that no vaccine is 100% effective. As long as there continues to be cases of COVID in Westport, it is important to continue the use of the other tools at our disposal to reduce transmission such as masking when indoors and in large outdoor crowds, hand washing, social distancing, and limiting gathering sizes. This is particularly important as we approach the start of the new school year and to those young people who are unable to be vaccinated as they return to the classroom.”

Private social gatherings appear to be a growing source of transmission. Please reconsider social gatherings and be mindful of transmission that happens within the home. Keep gatherings to outdoors if possible and get tested, even if you only feel cold-like symptoms. Follow CDC guidelines for masking against the Delta and other variants. This advice is for everyone whether vaccinated or not.

I am grateful that Westporters recognize the importance of wearing masks and getting vaccinated. It is for our physical and mental health and safety that we remain vigilant, and at the same time, be respectful to others who may have differing opinions. We have come a long way in combatting this virus.  While this development may seem like a step backward, it is undoubtedly necessary until the time comes when all have the capacity to be vaccinated and COVID-19 is a more manageable, non-life-threatening virus. We are stronger together.

Vaccine Booster

Yesterday, the President announced that it will be critical to administer “booster” vaccinations to continue to fight the pandemic.  Please note that the general public will not be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster until after September 20, and at that time, anyone receiving the booster will need to be at least 8 months from their second vaccination. When available, additional information and instructions about the booster will be posted on the WWHD website, For questions about COVID-19, including vaccine planning, call the WWHD at 203-227-9571.

8 responses to “Marpe Issues Indoor Mask Mandate

  1. Michael Kaplan

    I am happy Mr. Marpe issued this mandate today, but it is too bad he didn’t do this two weeks ago. I only wonder if this was done sooner, then the few Westporters I know who have contracted Covid recently (breakthrough cases) would not have contracted the virus.

  2. Jack Backiel

    Maybe Marpe would like to help Yale grad Ron DeSantis down in Florida? Four teachers died in Broward already, and just a week into the school year, 10,000 students and staff in Hillsborough County Public Schools are quarantining. Tampa has 5,000 quarantining.

  3. Robert Harrington

    Thanks Jim Marpe for showing leadership yet again. Covid in our town should not be a party political divide. One town.

  4. Michael Kaplan

    This should not be a political issue, and I am not making it one; however, true leadership is being a leader and not a follower or being slow off the mark. Other neighboring towns implemented mask mandates a week ago and some two weeks ago. So the question is, why weren’t we first–that would of been real leadership. Maybe Mr. Marpe was slow to implement this in fear of a political backlash? Better late than never, and I am happy Mr. Marpe finally implemented this mandate.

  5. Robert Harrington

    True leadership. Yes Jim Marpe.
    Thanks for your service to this town alongside our 2nd and 3rd selectman.
    Fighting Covid together and not scoring points.

    100% supportive of this step. Marpe and the Selectman’s Office with Jen Tooker and Melissa Kane have had our town’s back the whole way through Covid-19

    Thank you to the three of you !

  6. Marguerite Bunny Franco

    All, so lovely!
    Aren’t these photos wonderful & how they remind us as to why we love this town

  7. Chris Washington

    Vaccinated or Not, Acute COVID-19 in High-Risk Patients Demands Early Treatment –
    Dr. Peter McCullough