Lamont order revises state’s mask mandate

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By Paul Hughes, Republican-American

HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont on May 18 renewed the current COVID-19 emergency declarations in the state through July 20 as most of the remaining coronavirus-restrictions on businesses are being lifted.

Lamont also issued an emergency order that revised the state’s mask mandate to require anyone who is not fully vaccinated to wear masks or cloth face coverings in indoor places where 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.

The updated order reflected the new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which stated that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings. Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they have received a final dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the new directive.

The new CDC guidance still calls for people to wear masks in crowded indoor settings, such as riding on buses and planes, or while they are inside hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

The governor’s new order requires all people to wear masks when using public transportation. It also applies to homeless shelters and prisons.

In addition, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities may continue to require people wear masks on their property. Also, businesses, state and local government offices and events may choose to require universal masking.

The governor’s actions came a day ahead of the expiration of public health and civil preparedness emergencies and the removal of most of the remaining public health mandates on businesses.

Lamont signed legislation last week that authorized a two-month extension to July 20. He signed a companion bill on May 17 that empowered the full legislature to reject future extensions through March 2022 and a select committee of legislative leaders to reject individual emergency orders.