Wilton masking policies won't be changed, first selectwoman says

WILTON — Mask guidance will not be modified in Wilton just yet.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said Monday that the town is in a “wait and see” mode and will not implement any further mask guidance in town. Currently, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks inside of Wilton Town Hall and vaccinated individuals are recommended to, but not required.

This comes just days after Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order that allows municipal leaders local control on whether they will be requiring masks in indoor public places for residents regardless of vaccination status.

Vanderslice said she was not surprised by the governor’s decision.

“I know some mayors and first selectmen asked for this,” she said. “The circumstances are different in each community.”

She said some communities possess “significantly higher” vaccination rates when compared to others.

As of Aug. 5, Wilton has an estimated 71 percent of its total population fully vaccinated, or 13,073 out of 18,343 individuals, according to the Connecticut State Department of Health. Just under 76 percent of the town’s total population has at least one dose of the vaccine.

This rate is higher than the state’s, according to the CDC; Connecticut as a whole has a 63.6 percent vaccination rate.

“Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates in the entire nation, and for that the residents of our state are to be applauded,” Lamont said in the announcement last week.

The DPH website publishes an interactive map of COVID-19 cases per town that is updated regularly. For towns that are experiencing higher transmission rates, the map represents the severity with colors that range from gray (very low transmission) through orange to red (higher transmission). Vanderslice pointed out that Wilton remains gray, meaning that it has experienced less than five cases during a weekly period.

“Wilton is an island of gray in a sea of color,” the first selectwoman said, adding that the town’s transmission rates are continuing the trend of being lower than many other communities.

Vanderslice said she understands “we don’t live in a vacuum” and that residents from other areas come in and out of Wilton regularly, but contended that Fairfield County vaccination rates are high.

She said she will not speculate on what exactly would constitute a shift in the masking policy in town.