Mask Requirements in State, Municipalities and Schools – What You Need to Know

Governor Ned Lamont announced on August 5 that he has signed an executive order related to the COVID-19 emergency declarations, which provides municipal leaders with the option of requiring masks in indoor public places within their respective towns and cities for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.

By Tribuna Staff

Governor Ned Lamont announced on August 5 that he has signed an executive order related to the COVID-19 emergency declarations, which provides municipal leaders with the option of requiring masks in indoor public places within their respective towns and cities for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. 

This means that municipal leaders will now have the option of moving beyond the minimum requirements in the statewide policy on masks implemented by Governor Lamont in May. The statewide policy, which remains in effect and has not changed, is as follows:

  • Unvaccinated people must wear masks while in indoor public places 
  • Everyone must wear masks regardless of vaccination status while inside certain settings, such as healthcare facilities, facilities housing vulnerable populations, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare, pursuant to an order from the commissioner of the Department of Public Health
  • Masks are not required outdoors 
  • Individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear masks indoors if required in the commissioner’s order for special settings or by a municipality
  • Businesses, private property owners, and state and local government offices may require masks to be worn by everyone inside of their own facilities.

Governor Lamont said that he issued this order at the request of municipal leaders who wanted to return to the universal mask requirements implemented near the beginning of the pandemic. However, the governor does not believe that universal masking needs to be required on a statewide basis at this time, noting that there are many towns throughout Connecticut that have achieved exceptionally high vaccination rates. 

“Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates in the entire nation, and for that the residents of our state are to be applauded,” Governor Lamont said. “That being said, there are some pockets of the state that are lagging behind others, and some leaders in those areas have requested the option of requiring everyone to wear masks until they can get their vaccination rates higher. While I continue to strongly advise that everyone wear masks while inside of public locations as recommended by the CDC, I urge everyone to get vaccinated because it’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself from this ongoing virus.” 

On August 15, the City of Danbury issued an indoor mask order stating: all individuals shall be required to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times while in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

This city stated that issuance may be periodically revised or amended as needed or required by State directive or health order, changing conditions, or community needs. 

“Due to the increase in the number of cases over the past two weeks, and the projection of the Delta variant spread occurring in surrounding counties in Connecticut, we want to get ahead of this variant spread. We are asking our businesses and residents to take these precautions in hopes of mitigating the spread and making every effort to protect our community,” said Danbury Mayor Joe Cavo. 

He added that a regional approach would be the most effective way to issue this mandate and indicated that he reached out to local officials from surrounding towns to follow suit. Brookfield, Bethel, and Ridgefield have since issued similar mandates. 

“I know that we had all hoped to be nearing the end of this pandemic, but I am confident that we will get through this as long as we remain vigilant. Wearing a mask indoors or in large gatherings, along with getting vaccinated, and practicing social distancing remain the most effective mitigation strategies. The City of Danbury Department of Health and Human Services is working to create more testing opportunities within the City of Danbury. If you have been exposed or experiencing symptoms, I urge you to please get tested for COVID-19. Vaccine clinics are available on a daily basis here in Danbury and we will continue to support our community partners in this effort.” 

In preparation for the upcoming school year, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Connecticut State Department of Education are in the process of reviewing and if necessary, updating statewide policies requiring masks in schools.  

At a press conference, on August 17, Gov. Lamont said students in K-12 will have to wear masks for at least the first month of the school year and that he hopes face masks will only be necessary for a month or two, but “COVID-19 has its own timetable.”  

However, it should be noted that until that policy is issued, Governor Lamont’s statewide mask policy and current orders in effect continue to require that everyone wear masks while inside of schools, regardless of their vaccination status. 

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, residents are encouraged to visit Residents can also subscribe to text message alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.