Some Towns Urging Locals, Visitors to Wear Masks Indoors in Public Places

The towns want the state to issue a mask mandate for all municipalities.

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Windsor Locks, East Windsor, and South Windsor are teaming up to urge people who live or visit town to mask up.

In a joint statement released Friday, the neighboring towns strongly encouraged people to do so when conducting business indoors.

While they can mandate mask wearing in their towns, and they may, for now they’re pushing the state to make everyone to wear them.

“The solution is really not 169 small solutions, it’s got to be one big solution,” said East Windsor First Selectman Jason Bowsza.

“Leaving it in the hands of 169 leaders doesn’t take into consideration, I may live in East Windsor, but I could just as easily do my grocery shopping in another community.”

NBC CT asked the Governor’s office about towns asking for a statewide mask mandate.

It said there is a uniform policy in place, although it requires only people who are unvaccinated to wear masks indoors.

Bowsza expects coronavirus cases in his community to continue to rise, if the current policy remains.

He learned this morning a local resident died from COVID-19, something he hasn’t heard of in some time.

So while this may be a short term inconvenience, he said there’s a long-term benefit to wearing one, “I have a two-year-old son, my two-year-old son is not eligible to get vaccinated,” said Bowsza. “Adults have an obligation I think to take whatever they can to protect those people who can’t protect themselves, kids. That’s got to be what our priority is.”

On this scorching hot Friday, what better place to hide from the heat than shopping indoors.

Uptown Consignment in South Windsor was busy with browsers. Some masked, some not.

“When people do come in they ask us if we need them and we just remind them as long as you’re vaccinated it’s kind of a personal choice for you, but a lot of our staff we’ve been wearing our masks,” said manager Penny Chittaphong, who said about half of their customers cover up their nose and mouth.

“So I’m vaccinated. I feel really comfortable being able to shop indoors and I’m glad that there are mandates in place for those who aren’t vaccinated to continue to wear masks indoors, so I feel safe shopping today,” said Molly Hurtado of Tolland.

Rebecca Soto, the owner of Soto Optical, an East Windsor eyeglass stores, sees the benefit of wearing a mask, although admittedly it makes trying on glasses a little tricky.

So, she let’s customers do what makes them comfortable.

“You want to be able to see your face when you try on glasses, so I always wear my mask.”

She and others people we spoke to always keep a mask on them as guidance changes depending on where they shop.

“I mean it’s hard to keep up with all of the different mandates and recommendations changing from day to day, but I feel like the vaccination is what made me confident to not wear a mask,” said Hurtado.

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