Gov. Lamont Signs Order Requiring Masks or Cloth Face Coverings in Public in Conn. to Slow COVID-19

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Connecticut residents will be required to wear a cloth face covering in public spaces beginning April 20 if they cannot maintain a safe social distance, according to a new executive order from Governor Ned Lamont.

According to the order, which goes into effect at 8 p.m. on Monday, any person in public who cannot be at least six feet away from everyone, must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face covering.

Riders in taxis, cars, ride-sharing services or public transportation must always wear a mask. In addition, anyone at a semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area must wear a face covering.

The governor's recommendation is for cloth-face masks, not surgical masks or N95 respirators, said Josh Geballe, the state's chief operating officer.

Experts say the main benefit of wearing a face covering is not that it really protects you from the coronavirus but that it protects others nearby in case you are sick. There are various tutorials on how you can make a cloth mask out of materials you probably have in your home.

If you do use a cloth face covering, it is important that you clean it between uses.

Earlier Friday, Lamont announced the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Connecticut had surpassed 1,000.

"A milestone tragic day," Lamont said. "We have over 1,000 of our citizens, our members of the Connecticut family, who have now passed away."

He asked to pause for a moment of prayer for the victims and their loved ones.

Lamont said there was a glimmer of hope in the number of hospitalizations. The state saw a net increase of 20 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, a number Lamont said may show that the rate of infection is slowing.

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