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Southeast Connecticut Council of Governments urge Lamont to issue statewide indoor mask mandate

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order allowing Connecticut towns and cities to implement their own mask mandates.

NEW LONDON COUNTY, Conn. — The Southeast Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) penned a letter urging Gov. Ned Lamont to issue a new executive order requiring masks be worn indoors statewide. 

Twenty of the council's 22 members municipalities participated in a meeting on Wednesday to discuss Lamont's executive order that allows individual towns and cities to implement their own mask mandates. Hartford, New Haven, and Danbury have all implemented their own mandates.

The directors of the three regional health districts in southeastern Connecticut, representatives from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe, SCCOG affiliate members, and liaisons from the United States Naval Submarine Base and the United State Coast Guard Academy in attendance. 

In the letter, the members explained the difficulty towns would have at enforcing mandates at the municipal level. 

"Because the transmission of COVID-19 does not stop at municipal borders or regional boundaries, we also worry that imposition of a mask mandate on a town-by-town basis would not be as impactful as a statewide mandate," wrote SCCOG Chairman and Ledyard Mayor Fred Allyn.

RELATED: These are the CT cities and towns that have issued new mask mandates

New London County is listed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an area of "high" community transmission for COVID-19. The CDC recommends people in any area listed as an area of substantial or high community transmission wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status. 

The SCCOG released another letter urging voluntary indoor mask-wearing throughout the region, along with asking Allyn to send a letter to Lamont. 

"As municipal leaders, we urge you to use your office and authority to establish a statewide mandate, as opposed to a patchwork of municipal mandates," wrote Allyn. 

Lamont has said in the past that he has preferred other methods than imposing another mask mandate statewide. 

"I sure prefer incentives to mandates. I've been doing incentives for the last three months. Here’s a drink, here’s a rock concert," said Lamont on Tuesday. "Hartford gives you $100. I think we’re pushing on a string a little bit."

FOX61 reached out to Lamont's office about the letter. His director of communications Max Reiss released a statement: 

“There is currently an executive order mandating that all unvaccinated individuals wear masks while indoors and the CDC strongly recommends wearing masks in indoor settings, guidance Gov. Lamont and the Department of Public Health have urged individuals to follow. Getting and encouraging vaccinations against COVID-19 continue to be the best way to protect yourself and your loved one against the virus and the governor continues to urge all elected officials to pursue those efforts in their communities.”

Connecticut reported on Wednesday it had administered 19,824 tests and 593 came back positive. The positivity rate was about 2.99%, significantly lower than Tuesday's 4.25%.

Hospitalizations continue to increase at a rapid pace. There were 27 more patients reported to be in the hospital for COVID-19 since Tuesday. There are now 348 patients being treated for the virus. 




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