mask mandate

Local Leaders Call on Governor Lamont to Issue Statewide Mask Mandate

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Some city and town leaders are calling on Gov. Ned Lamont to make an official decision on issuing a statewide mask mandate.

Lamont said that he plans to stick with his executive order allowing for local municipalities to implement their own mask mandates, on Tuesday.

Some town leaders believe the governor should take a more united approach a head of the winter months should cases begin to rise around the state.

"I don't think we need to do that on a statewide basis yet," said Lamont. "I do think that a lot of our stores and restaurants be they in New Haven or anywhere else are being pretty strict in terms of keeping their people safe."

The effort to chance course on masking comes from a trio of municipalities including East Windsor, South Windsor and Windsor Locks. Leaders in each town tell NBC Connecticut they have concerns about rising cases, the delta variant and a potential fourth wave.

"We're seeing more and more towns clustered into a red designation and the more that happens the more difficult it's going to be to get a head of any type of a coordinated response," said East Windsor's First Selectman Jason Bowsza. "What we really are concerned about is we don't want to see a return to sector closures last year which had an adverse reaction on our local economy and we don't want to see a circumstance where students aren't able to go to school."

Last week, East Windsor's first selectman along with leaders from South Windsor and Windsor Locks called on the governor to re-impose universal masking indoors for everyone regardless of vaccination status. Local municipalities like Hartford, New Haven and Stamford issued mask mandates for everyone indoors.

"The idea that putting a mask mandate in place before things get bad is a preemptive measure and I think if you were to do that history will judge you favorably," said Michael Maniscalco, the town manager for South Windsor. "As we look at the increase in coronavirus throughout our community and the trajectory of where things are going it's moving in the wrong direction, it's very clear that it's been moving in the wrong direction for a couple weeks."

The three towns along with leaders from Manchester and East Hartford are set to host a meeting to discuss implementing a regional mask mandate.

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