Lamont mandates face coverings in public areas


Governor Ned Lamont released an executive order on April 17 requiring Connecticut residents to wear face coverings in public spaces in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, effective April 20.

The order states that anybody in a public space, or who cannot maintain a distance of six feet from another person, must wear a face covering that conceals the mouth and nose. One of the goals of Lamont’s mandate is to prevent residents from contracting the virus from people that may be asymptomatic, and have not self-isolated as a result.

“[I]n the last 24 hours more than 4 million surgical masks have been delivered to the State of Connecticut commodities warehouse,” Lamont tweeted Thursday.

It’s not about oneself, but the community’s protection.

— Paloma Bima

Retail stores, essential workplaces, curbside pickup, drive-thru establishments and any type of transit service are all places where face coverings are now mandatory. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people wear cloth face coverings.

If a preexisting health condition prevents a person from wearing a mask, they will be exempt from the requirement and will not be prompted to provide documentation to prove the condition.

In addition, while there is no fine for neglecting to wear a face covering, Lamont has said he expects people to self-enforce the rule.

As of Thursday, the Connecticut Hospital Association tallied 23,100 COVID-19 cases across Connecticut, bringing the death toll up to 1,639.

I believe mandatory face coverings while you are out of the house are beneficial in flattening the curve,” Westport parent Paloma Bima said. “The more precautions people take, the faster we will be able to come out of this. It’s not about oneself, but the community’s protection.”