First Selectman Fred Camillo issued an order Friday, August 20 regarding universal masking in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.
“I believe it is a small inconvenience to make this minor, temporary adjustment to our daily lives. Wearing a mask when in common areas indoors in a public facility or a business, office, store or restaurant will go a long way to protect the health and safety of your co-workers, neighbors, and most importantly, you and your family,” Mr. Camillo said.
The Governor’s Executive Order No. 13A provides municipal leaders with the an option of requiring masks or face coverings in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.
Mr. Camillo added, “These temporary measures are designed to prevent a return to the constant cancellations of events and closures of businesses and various facilities last year.” The mask requirement is effective immediately with enforcement to begin Monday, August 23.
“The delta variant is highly contagious, similar to the chicken pox,” said Health Director Caroline Baisley. “We are seeing an increase in cases within families with children who are unable to be vaccinated. It spreads through the family but the vaccinated family members are reporting mild symptoms.” Ms. Baisley added, “We know masking works. We know social distancing works.”
Diane Kelly, president of Greenwich Hospital, said, “At our hospital and throughout our health system, we wear masks at all times and I applaud First Selectman Camillo’s decision to require masking in Greenwich. We also encourage our community to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
As of today, August 20, there have been 5,421 residents who have tested positive for COVID. This number represents 24 new cases since Tuesday, August 17. Currently, our Health Department is tracking 77 active cases in Town.
Mr. Camillo also announced that all Town employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than September 27, the same deadline that has been imposed upon all nursing home staff, state employees, and all staff in public and private K-12 schools statewide. The Town will use Executive Order No. 13D as template for vaccination verification, exemption and testing. Additional details will be shared with Town employees shortly.
Effective Monday, August 23, employees and visitors to Town facilities – including Town Hall – are reminded that social distancing protocols are once again in effect.
Mr. Camillo added, “I want to thank each Town employee for their continued dedication to providing the services to residents during these challenges. By abiding with these temporary adjustments, I am sure we will be able to safely return some normalcy in our lives.”
These decisions were made in consultation with the First Selectman’s emergency management team which includes the Greenwich Health Department.