Doctor’s note needed to unmask in public


By Paul Hughes, Republican-American

HARTFORD — Anyone in Connecticut declining to wear a mask or face covering in public for health reasons must now have documentation of their medical condition.

At the request of Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz issued an updated executive order Friday evening that imposed the new requirement. Lamont is out of state vacationing in Maine.

The governor had signaled that he was contemplating taking this step because of his concerns that some people were getting lax about wearing masks or face coverings.

The revised order still exempts children in child care settings and children under age 2, but it removes an exemption for older children if a parent, guardian or person responsible for the child is unable to place the mask safely on the child’s face

The governor’s original April 17 order directed the wearing of masks or face coverings in public when social distancing was not possible to limit the spread of coronavirus disease. It exempts people who were unable to comply for health or safety reasons, but did not specifically require individuals to provide any medical proof.

Going forward, people claiming a health or safety exemption will require documentation from a licensed medical provider, the Department of Developmental Services, or other state agencies that provide services or supports to a person.

The updated directive states that the documentation does not have to name or describe the condition that qualifies the person for the exemption.

The Department of Public Health on Friday reported 115 new cases of COVID-19 out of 10,353 test results received since Thursday. There have now been 50,897 cases and 935,680 tests done.

Public health officials reported three more coronavirus-associated deaths. There have now been 4,453 fatalities in the viral outbreak.

There was also a net decline of seven patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases to 56 statewide.

The Naugatuck Valley Health District reported Thursday there have been 419 confirmed coronavirus cases in Naugatuck and 58 in Beacon Falls. There have been 37 confirmed deaths associated with coronavirus and four probable deaths in Naugatuck, according to the health district, and none in Beacon Falls.

The Chesprocott Health District reported Friday morning that there have been 84 cases in Prospect and no coronavirus-related deaths in town.

Elio Gugliotti contributed to this report.