Health Director on New Mask Rules: ‘Those That Are Fully Vaccinated Can Feel Safer’

Longstanding requirements to wear masks both indoors and in some outdoor settings changed this week, eliminating many of the rules that residents and businesses have grappled with since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, officials say. As of Wednesday, following CDC guidance, Gov. Ned Lamont ordered that masks are no longer required outdoors and also relaxed many of public-health related rules for those who are fully vaccinated. “It’s a huge change,” New Canaan Health Director Jenn Eielson told “I mean everyone’s been wearing masks now since last April.”

Specifically, people who received their final vaccine dose at least two weeks ago need not wear a mask or social-distance indoors or outdoors, except in schools, childcare settings, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, public transportation or private businesses that require them. (Unvaccinated people are still required to wear masks indoors, Lamont said.)

When asked if fully vaccinated people could enter businesses without a mask, Eielson said businesses “can still decide if they want to require masks or not.”

She added, “My advice would be just to keep a mask handy because you never know what business is going to ask you to put one on.”

Masks are only recommended in large outdoor settings where young unvaccinated children may be, she said.

Podcast: New Canaan Health Director Jenn Eielson on COVID-19 Virus, Vaccinations

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to New Canaan Health Director Jenn Eielson about COVID-19 virus—how the town is faring in reducing infection rates and getting residents vaccinated, what are some common misconceptions regarding coronavirus and whether Jenn has enough peanut butter and chocolate to get through these next few months. 

Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Health Director: New Canaan’s Vaccine Allocation Doubles [UPDATE]

[Note: This article has been updated to say the state is discussing prioritizing vaccinations for 65- to 74-year-olds next.]

New Canaan is seeing new positive cases of COVID-19 virus trend down week-by-week, Health Director Jenn Eielson said Thursday, and the state recently doubled the number of vaccinations made available to the town. The town saw a “sustained high” in cases starting in early November, and that’s been changing recently, “so this is good progress,” Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission during their regular meeting, held via videoconference. “But we knew that was going to happen with the holidays and gatherings,” she said. “So this is good news.”

In offering COVID testing with Waveny LifeCare Network, the town is seeing about 92% of open slots filled up, which is “great news,” Eielson said. “People are still testing and wanting to be tested.