Masks are back in Connecticut and Cramer & Anderson LLP is requiring all visitors to our six regional offices to wear masks, including those who are vaccinated.
“Our attorneys and staff are vaccinated, and like everyone else we had welcomed the CDC’s earlier guidance that those who are vaccinated no longer needed to wear masks, even indoors,” said Partner Ken Taylor. “However, with both the CDC and Connecticut agencies and officials recommending a return to indoor masking amid the rise of the Delta variant, Cramer & Anderson is also shifting our policy and requiring masks for visitors, and for attorneys and staff when interacting with clients and visitors.”
The changes to mask policies in Connecticut—where some restaurants and businesses are again requiring masks for anyone entering the premises, and school districts are announcing fall term mask requirements—come as all of the state’s eight counties have reached a “substantial” level of COVID spread.
In an Aug. 1 post on Facebook, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont wrote, “Given the rapid increases in cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut over the last 14 days due to the spread of the Delta variant, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is strongly recommending that ALL CONNECTICUT residents over aged two years, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, return to wearing masks when in indoor public spaces.”
A CDC post from Aug. 3 elaborated on the national guidance: “If you live in an area with substantial or high spread of COVID-19, you should wear a mask in public indoor settings, even if fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated and in a low-spread area, you can still consider wearing a mask, particularly if you live with someone who is immunocompromised, unvaccinated, or at risk of severe disease. Visit CDC’s COVID Data Tracker to find out your area’s level of COVID-19.”
On Aug. 4, Governor Lamont and Public Health Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford, MD, MPH, jointly expressed concern over the new rise in COVID-19 numbers—at a time when the state’s positivity rate had eclipsed 3 percent for several days in a row. A news release began by recounting specific troubling events that contributed to the message of concern:
- A birthday party took place in June with about 50 attendees, resulting in 16 COVID-19 cases in the subsequent week. The birthday party started outdoors and then moved indoors. Unvaccinated attendees at this party were four times as likely to test positive than those who were vaccinated, with a total of six cases among 33 fully or partially vaccinated attendees and 10 cases among 13 unvaccinated attendees. Four cases were hospitalized as a result.
- A summer camp of about 50 campers and about 20 staff members experienced a COVID-19 outbreak in July with 13 identified cases among campers. All staff has been vaccinated and no cases have been identified among staff. The campers are 11-14 years of age and their vaccination status is unknown.
- Twenty-eight Connecticut residents have been identified as COVID-19 cases associated with an outbreak in Massachusetts, having traveled to Provincetown (26) or having had contact with a case that traveled to Provincetown (two) in July. Twenty-six (93 percent) of the cases were fully vaccinated. None of the cases were hospitalized.
“DPH reminds Connecticut residents that social gatherings with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated should be outdoors,” the release said. “Indoor gatherings should include masks. Unvaccinated children are susceptible to COVID-19 and should get vaccinated before school starts.”
The state also cautioned those with underlying conditions to avoid large indoor gatherings—and reiterated the call to action for vaccinations, “the most important defense against illness and hospitalization from COVID-19,” saying, “DPH strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals get vaccinated as soon as possible to help stop the ongoing spread of the Delta variant.”
Working With Cramer & Anderson Amid COVID
Our attorneys and staff are working in our offices, where proper sanitation and social distancing measures remain strictly observed. However, we also offer clients great flexibility and are available not only by phone or email but also via Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms. For more information, see the firm’s website or call the flagship office in New Milford at (860) 355-2631. Other regional offices are located in Danbury, Ridgefield, Kent, Washington Depot, and Litchfield.