Danbury mayor Dean Esposito said he recommends residents wear masks when in large groups, but is not mandating it. (Shutterstock)
DANBURY, CT — Two city councilmen have written to Mayor Dean Esposito requesting he reinstate the citywide indoor mask mandate.
Farley Santos and Joe Britton, representing Danbury’s 4th Ward, have called upon the mayor to revive the mandate in the wake of a surge in coronavirus cases borne on the back of the highly contagious coronavirus omicron variant.
“As Danbury residents plan to gather for the holidays it is prudent and morally imperative to reinstate mask requirements indoors when congregating in groups,” reads the letter, dated Dec. 21.
In August, Esposito’s predecessor, Joe Cavo, issued an order requiring everyone in the city to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times while in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Danbury was the first city in southwest Connecticut to issue a mask mandate, after Gov. Ned Lamont empowered local leaders via an executive order. Cavo rescinded the order for the vaccinated two months later as local COVID-19 infection levels subsided.
Esposito said he does not see another mask mandate in the city’s immediate future: “As I’ve said for the last several weeks, I am highly encouraging all of our residents to protect themselves during the recent spike in Covid-19 cases by utilizing the tools we have. These tools include vaccines and boosters.”
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The mayor said he recommends residents wear masks when in large groups, but is not mandating it.
In their letter, Santos and Britton cited an analysis indicating new COVID-19 cases decreased more rapidly in Connecticut communities where face coverings were required through October, compared to those where the mask mandates were lifted.
“As elected representatives of the 4th ward, we are obligated to act in the best interests of our constituents and if we act now, we can reduce the burden on our hospitals, clinics, and health care workers, and we can make our community safer,” the councilmen wrote.
On Monday, Lamont doubled down on his refusal to institute any kind of statewide mask or vaccine mandate, saying he would leave those decisions to municipal governments.
“I agree with Governor Lamont and will not be enforcing any form of mandates on our residents and businesses,” Esposito told Patch.