Manchester ends mask mandate

·2 min read

Oct. 15—MANCHESTER — Masks are no longer required in public spaces due to sustained improvement in COVID-19 transmission rates, town officials said.

Acting General Manager Steve Stephanou and Mayor Jay Moran said the mandate that had applied to all indoor public spaces, meeting spaces, private businesses, and places of employment ended at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Visitors to town-owned buildings will still be required to wear masks.

The town had required masks be worn in all indoor spaces frequented by the public on Aug. 21 in accordance with Gov. Ned Lamont's executive order following a tenfold increase in COVID cases since early July.

As of Oct. 14, the town's average daily rate of COVID-19 cases has decreased by 60% since early September, going from 20.3 to 8.1, officials said. With an average daily rate of 8.1 as of Oct. 14, Manchester moved into "yellow" alert status as defined by the state.

Hospitalizations in Hartford County have dropped by nearly 70% since the mask mandate was instituted in late August.

"The drop in COVID-19 transmission rates in Manchester and Hartford County hospitalizations is good news. I want to thank Manchester residents and businesses for doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Manchester and helping our community mitigate the impact of the delta variant and summer surge," Moran said. "I am also extremely proud that nearly 80% of eligible Manchester residents are now vaccinated."

Stephanou said the change was based on objective data.

"Going forward, we will continue to closely monitor the state's weekly COVID-19 data reports and the trends in key indicators; should transmission rates and hospitalizations once again increase, the masking policy will be reconsidered," he said.

The masking requirement for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will remain in town-owned buildings, including Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Mary Cheney and Whiton Libraries, and recreation centers. The Health Department is also emphasizing the critical importance of vaccinations.

The town, in accordance with CDC guidelines, still strongly recommends that all residents, visitors, and businesses follow CDC guidance to wear masks indoors.

As of Oct. 14, 79.3% of Manchester residents who are eligible have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 73.8% are fully vaccinated. Factoring in all age groups, 69% of Manchester residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

For information on obtaining the vaccine, contact the Manchester Health Department at 860-647-3173 or

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