Town Mask Mandate Lifted, Somewhat

This morning, First Selectwoman Samantha Nestor rescinded her emergency order mandating masks indoors in public settings, but the rules still apply in Town facilities, including Town Hall and the Weston Public Library. State mask requirements for schools are still in place, at least for the time being.

The move appears to be in response to improved Covid-19 transmission rates in Weston and surrounding towns while maintaining a level of caution. Unlike nearby towns, Weston’s case rate only dropped to the state’s lowest alert level in yesterday’s report, having persisted much longer in the Red or Orange alert categories in recent weeks.

The First Selectwoman’s action gives local businesses the ability to set their own indoor mask policies in whatever way they see fit to protect the health and safety of their staff and customers.

In an announcement broadcast on the Town’s Everbridge system, Ms. Nestor said, “This is not the end of being diligent, and we need to be mindful of the potential spread of stronger strains and breakthrough cases which would possibly require us to put the mask mandate back in place. We continue to strongly encourage that those eligible get fully vaccinated and/or receive a booster.”

At the Library, staff and visitors are still required to wear a mask regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. The same is true at Town Hall, where citizens are still encouraged to use online services.

“Caution and some common sense”

First Selectwoman Nestor said rescinding her previous order was decided after consulting with the town’s Emergency Management team and the Westport Weston Health District.

Health district director Mark Cooper said, “We are in support of this action for those in the lower risk category for severe Covid illness and who have been vaccinated, so long as the local transmission rate remains low.”

“If everyone proceeds with caution and some common sense,” said Mr. Cooper, “we may be able to enjoy the coming holiday season with family and friends in a more traditional manner. For those in a higher risk category for severe Covid illness, masking is still highly recommended because, although the transmission rate is low, the virus is still in the community.”

The state still requires that those unvaccinated wear masks in indoor public settings. Those vaccinated are still required to wear masks in healthcare facilities, those serving vulnerable populations, correctional institutions, childcare facilities, and on public and private transit.

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