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Posted on: August 10, 2021

Face Coverings Required in Norwalk Regardless of Vaccination Status starting August 13

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling announced today, August 10, 2021, that effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 13, the city of Norwalk will require indoor face coverings for all people, regardless of their vaccination status. The Mayor’s executive order affects all establishments in Norwalk, such as bars, gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, hardware stores, and supermarkets where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This order will be enforced by the Norwalk Police Department and Norwalk Health Department. 

“As the Delta Variant spreads, our case numbers and test positivity rate continue to climb to levels we have not seen in months. Last year, we began seeing a resurgence in cases in late September. However, we are starting to see that trend happen now. Transmission is high, and we are following the CDC guidelines,” Mayor Rilling said. “While I believe a statewide policy, rather than 169 different approaches, makes the most sense as we see a resurgence of COVID-19, I felt it important to reinstate the mask mandate across Norwalk to help keep our residents safe. Wearing a mask, watching your distance, and washing your hands, are proven simple steps we can all take that have a big impact. I appreciate residents, employers, and customers for their continued cooperation.” 

On August 5, Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order that provided 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. Last week, Mayor Rilling issued an order that masks must be worn inside at all City properties, regardless of a person’s vaccination status, by staff and visitors. While the Governor’s current executive order requires unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors, the spread of the Delta variant and rising case rates prompted Mayor Rilling to extend the order locally across Norwalk to all people. 

In Norwalk, there are still roughly 28,000 residents who have not been fully vaccinated. Some of these people are eligible for the vaccine, but many are under the age of 12, and currently not eligible to be vaccinated. People who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Over the last month, the COVID-19 test positivity rate in Norwalk went from under 1% to over 3%, and the case rate climbed from less than 5 cases per 100,000 population to over 10 per 100,000 population. While Norwalk and Fairfield County remain in the substantial, or orange, level of virus transmission per the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, nearly 75 percent of the country is at high, or red, level of transmission. Norwalk and the rest of the state is trending in the direction of high community transmission.

Cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated individuals, sometimes called breakthrough infections, are rare. The Connecticut Department of Public Health reported that as of August 3, 2021, a total of 1,171 cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut have been confirmed. Of the more than 2.1 million people in Connecticut who have completed their vaccine series, less than 0.06% of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut have contracted the virus. The majority of new cases and hospitalizations around the state continue to be those who are not vaccinated. 

“Getting more people vaccinated will help us beat this pandemic. I encourage those eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Let’s all double down on our efforts to stop the spread of this virus and keep each other safe. If you are eligible, please get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Mayor Rilling said. 

The latest information regarding COVID-19, including testing locations and vaccine clinics, can be found at norwalkct.org/citynews.

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