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CDC mask guidance under review, could apply to 2 CT counties

A spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday noted that two counties, Hartford and New London, are close to the CDC’s threshold for indoor masks

CONNECTICUT, USA — Connecticut officials are reviewing new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors. 

A spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday noted that two counties, Hartford and New London, are close to the CDC’s threshold for indoor masks. Updates are expected in the coming days on mask-wearing. 

"The Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Office of the Governor are reviewing the guidance and we will have additional updates in the coming days. The latest guidance from the CDC recommends that everyone wear masks in public indoor spaces in counties that have substantial or high transmission of COVID-19," said the spokesperson in a written statement. "Currently, both Hartford County and New London County are close to the threshold described by the CDC for universal masking. Even in states that have some of the lowest infection rates in the country, vaccinated people who are immunocompromised, otherwise considered high-risk, live with individuals who are high-risk or with unvaccinated children, may want to consider wearing masks in indoor public settings."

The spokesperson added, "Additionally, both the Department of Public Health and Connecticut State Department of Education recently provided districts with interim recommendations for COVID-19 prevention in preK-12 schools to serve as guidance for the return of all in-person learning this fall, which is a priority for the Lamont administration. The best action all of our students over the age of 12 and educators could do to support a safe return to school is to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines. To that end, the Department of Public Health and the State Department of Education are assisting local school districts and public health partners in coordinating on-site school vaccination clinics in all of our districts through the late summer into the early fall. Connecticut has been a national leader when it comes to testing, mitigation strategies, and vaccine uptake, and we want to continue that progress to the benefit of our entire state.”

Earlier in the day, Lamont said he'll “probably” follow the CDC's recommendations for indoor mask-wearing but acknowledged that local infection rates could be considered. 

Meanwhile, the state's largest teachers union wants Lamont to require mask-wearing in schools, noting large numbers of unvaccinated students.

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