Tooker: Westport Is Mask Optional On February 28

On February 28, Westport becomes a “mask optional community.”

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker made that announcement today, on behalf of the town’s COVID-19 Emergency Management Team.

The date corresponds with similar lifting of restrictions by the state of Connecticut, and the anticipated ending of mandatory masks in Westport Public Schools.

Masks may still be required in other locations outside the municipal authority. They include healthcare facilities, those housing vulnerable populations, and public and private transit. Some Westport establishments and locations may continue to maintain a full mask policy.

Most Westporters will no longer be required to wear masks. (Photo/Topsy Siderowf)

Tooker says, “We are comfortable and confident that requiring masks in municipal buildings is no longer a necessity, with the exceptions noted. Certainly, there are those who will continue to wear a mask in certain circumstances, and we respect and encourage that personal choice.

“I am very proud to be leading this resilient community. Since early 2020, we have all  had to navigate the many phases of COVID. Being mask optional is an encouraging development in yet another phase that we will navigate together.”

12 responses to “Tooker: Westport Is Mask Optional On February 28

  1. Jonathan Prager

    Let’s hope that being ‘mask optional’ doesn’t turn out to ‘mandate’ Covid for those left unprotected from flying droplets emanating from mask-less noses and mouths.

  2. Jonathan Prager

    A bit of illumination through poetry…

    MASK IT!

    If you had the choice, would you rather mask it?
    Or be condemned to your very own casket?
    The life you save could well be your own.
    How loudly then would you moan and groan?

    You might save your spouse; you might save your sibling.
    Would then you be squabbling? Would you then be quibbling?
    Were there a real threat to those you hold dear
    Mightn’t this bluster simply disappear?

    The grandest right is the privilege to live.
    Be mindful what you sow; be careful what you give.
    Breathing out droplets must give one pause
    In the gravest of ways, it subverts our cause.

    You may not be aware of how silly you sound
    Quoting lofty ideals, asserting higher ground
    Screaming and yelling and becoming irate
    Defying science, while tempting fate.

    Masks don’t only save strangers, they save the soul
    In the stand for our species, we all play our role
    So, for country, for God, and collective wellbeing
    Filtering hot air becomes utterly freeing.

    I make my voice count, as I clear breathing space
    I vent my beliefs by covering my face
    I’m known through my mask for granting permission
    Caring for others is a most noble mission.

    I’m known for my mask, not capitulation
    It’s the contribution I make when in circulation
    The disease I don’t spread, the ease I dispense
    Covering nose and mouth makes common sense.

    Masking supports emancipation
    Standing our ground in celebration
    Supporting humanity for the duration
    Respecting life and the laws of creation.

    ©Jonathan Prager 2020. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Not to put a damper on things, but, we have a new variant- BA.2, and it’s about 30% to 50% more contagious than Omicron. BA.2 is capable of breaking through antibodies in the blood of people who’d been vaccinated against Covid-19. It is also resistant to the antibodies of people who’d been infected with Covid-19 early in the pandemic,

  4. Richard Johnson

    It’s too bad that masking has become politicized. While vaccines don’t offer perfect protection and there will always be another variant for people to get whipped into a frenzy about (which seems only to benefit the media, who profit from scaremongering), the risk of infection, serious illness, and death have been largely mitigated and right now, case numbers are plummeting. Policies should respond to those facts, and adapt if they change.

    Most masking seem to be symbolic at this point – the majority of masks I see are varieties we now know are mostly useless (cloth or surgical), and in any event, we know that good masks protect the wearer even when others are not masked. So it’s hard to see the resistance to lifting mandates as rational. And that’s coming from someone who currently wears a KN95 and is as far to the left as it gets. Westporters who are really concerned about the safety of their neighbors might want to consider driving the speed limit and using their turn signal.

  5. As someone not looking forward to being scowled at in Trader Joe’s next month, I hope we can change the dialogue and assumptions around continued mask-wearing. Am I concerned about new variants and an emergency return to mandates? Kinda. But mostly I’m not willing to discount the many people who have underlying health issues and who have expressed concern that even a mild case of Covid might be fatal for them. Rather than think of mask wearers as fraidy-cat snowflakes, please consider that we’re simply trying to help out our fellow citizens; after all, masks do a better job protecting others than they do protecting the wearer. Peace.

  6. Glad to see the movement forward in Westport. As someone who is peronally and whose family is vaccinated and bootsted, it’s time to get back to normal.

    I have traveled in other parts of the country as well as internaionally and people in other places are unmasked and have gotten back to normal. Great to see faces and smiles again….

  7. I intend to continue wearing my mask until Covid-19 is completely eradicated.

    • Dermot Meuchner

      Enjoy wearing your mask the rest of your life. No coronavirus is “ completely “ eradicated” as the common cold proves.

      • Dermot, I don’t remember anyone mentioning having to wear a for the rest of their lives? Where’d you get that from?

  8. I agree with Bobbie. Not only does it protect against Covid, it also protects one from the flu too. A positive side effect to my wearing a mask is that it hides my double chin, and I look younger.

  9. Mariaolga Ellison

    I am definitely continuing using the mask. Covid is not gone 100% and I don’t want to take any chances. I am used to the mask and I “don’t leave home without it.” I need to protect myself and others.