Gov. Lamont holds off on requiring masks indoors amid virus spike
Despite a jump over the weekend in hospital rates due to COVID-19, Gov. Lamont is holding off on requiring masks indoors — for now.
However, the state Health Department is "strongly recommending" everyone wear a mask indoors, even if you have been vaccinated.
Over the weekend, Connecticut’s COVID positivity rate topped three percent. An additional 32 patients are in the hospital, bringing the total number to 148. That's the biggest weekend jump since March.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most of Connecticut is now seeing "substantial" spread of the virus, but masking will remain voluntary. Gov. Lamont says businesses owners are in a “good position” to make their own decisions on the issue.
“Maybe some of them will be vaccine-only. Some of them will say, 'I'd like to see you've been tested.' Some of them may say otherwise,” he says.
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Gov. Lamont is considering requiring all state workers to be vaccinated or tested regularly. President Joe Biden is already requiring it for federal workers and military personnel.
Similar requirements are in place in New York.
Dr. Dan Gottschall at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport thinks vaccine requirements are a good idea. Almost all Hartford HealthCare workers must be vaccinated by Oct. 1.
But as for masks, Gottschall says Connecticut can hold off on new rules since hospital rates are still low.
What do state workers think about requiring vaccines? The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) said in a statement, “At this time, SEBAC has not been approached by the Lamont Administration on this matter but we look forward to carefully considering any proposal that is designed to enhance the safety of both state workers and the public they serve while ensuring a fair and effective system."
Some places aren't waiting for the state to act. In Norwalk, masks are required at all city offices.