January 6, 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mayor Benjamin D. Florsheim, 860-638-4801
City of Middletown Issues Indoor Mask Mandate
Mayor Ben Florsheim and Acting Director of Health Kevin Elak announced today that the City of Middletown will enact a local universal indoor mask mandate, effective immediately. The order will remain in effect until February 1, 2022, unless extended due to ongoing need.
On January 4th, the state announced a statewide COVID-19 positivity rate nearing 24% with increasing widespread community transmission statewide.
Even though Middletown has a high vaccination rate, the Omicron variant is so contagious that extra measures are needed to slow the transmission and to protect the most vulnerable. As Middletown remains in the “red” zone and we see an increase in hospitalizations from COVID-19 infections, the City is moving immediately to take additional steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community and statewide.
Under the Governor’s Executive Order No. 13A order issued on August 5, 2021, the Mayor, as the City’s chief executive officer, has the sole authority to issue a municipal mask mandate in Middletown. Mayor Florsheim said the decision to issue the mask mandate was made in consultation with public health and safety officials, and other elected officials.
Middletown’s indoor mask mandate will require all persons to wear a mask in any indoor place in town. The mandate shall not apply to any residential dwelling and includes the following exceptions to the requirement to wear a mask:
- Persons more than 6’ apart;
- Persons with a medical condition, behavioral condition, or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, or anyone under the age of 2 years; and
- Persons eating and drinking.
Middletown joins other municipalities across Connecticut in making masks mandatory as we work to minimize community spread.Under the Governor’s executive order, the City has the authority to enforce the mandate, including the issuance of citations.
“Wearing a mask while around others and in indoor public spaces is one of the most important tools we have to decrease virus transmission in the community,” said Kevin Elak, Acting Director of Health. “A well fitted mask can protect you as well as others around you.”
“With the rising spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, it’s time to reach back into our COVID-19 prevention toolbox and mask up,” said Mayor Florsheim. “Just like past upticks, this trend will eventually reverse -- but if we’ve learned anything in the past two years, it’s the need to be adaptable to the changing nature of this virus. The better our policy response, the better our health outcomes -- and the better we use every tool available to us, from masks to testing to vaccinations and boosters, the better we’ll be able to keep our schools, commerce, and city government open for business.”