Connecticut mask mandates lifted as COVID cases rise

Health experts say people should continue to take precautions like getting vaccinated, staying aware of booster shots and wearing masks in high-risk scenarios.

CONNECTICUT, USA – An increase in COVID-19 cases in Connecticut is due to a number of factors.

“Herd immunity goes down, and then vaccine immunity also goes down to some degree, and there’s also the big reason which is also the omicron variants,” said Dr. Ulysses Wu, chief epidemiologist at Hartford Healthcare. . “The elimination of masking certainly helped that.”

But even as the numbers grow, more and more people are going maskless. Transit is the latest to drop the mandate.

Wu said his advice was for people to do the things we already know to protect against covid, such as getting vaccinated, staying on top of booster shots and, in some scenarios, always wearing a mask.

“It shouldn’t be binary. It shouldn’t be that covid doesn’t exist or that covid rules everything and we should stop living our lives as we normally would. There’s something between a gray area that we should be allowed to take certain precautions but we don’t have to take every precaution,” he said.

While many people are happy to leave masks behind, there seems to be consensus that people should do what they’re most comfortable with.

“I think it’s absolutely time, I think people who want to wear the mask should still have the option to wear it,” said Christopher Williams of Hartford.

“I think it’s time for them to be lifted, but I’m a little concerned because as the cases increase I’m a little divided,” said Rafay Irfan of New Haven. “Whatever science tells us, I think we should keep doing it.”

This is a concern for those at higher risk. Disability Rights Connecticut fears it’s too early to get rid of masks in places like public transportation.

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“I think there should be guidelines in place, especially in places where you really know there might be a problem like at school or on a plane for example where everyone is close by” , said the general manager, Deborah Dorfman. “It just doesn’t hurt one person to help all of society be safer and more inclusive.”

The CDC agrees, asking the Justice Department to appeal the decision that overturned the mask warrant.

In a statement, the agency said in part: “When people wear a properly fitted mask or respirator over their nose and mouth while traveling indoors or on public transport, they are protecting themselves and those around them, including those who are immunocompromised or not yet eligible for the vaccine, and help make travel and public transport safer for all.”

“We have to remember that this is a communicable disease, so it’s not just about ourselves, we have to protect others as well,” Wu said.

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Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected].

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