Here's where you do, and don't, need to wear masks in Norwalk

Photo of Abigail Brone
Norwalk Transit District employee Dennis O'Connor shows off a KN-95 mask and cloth mask in Norwalk, Conn. Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Norwalk Transit District employee Dennis O'Connor shows off a KN-95 mask and cloth mask in Norwalk, Conn. Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

NORWALK — After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 13 decision stating people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, chain stores and companies, including those with locations in Norwalk, swiftly lifted the store mask mandate.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced the state will be following the CDC recommendations and masks will no longer be required under most circumstances. Unvaccinated people will still be asked to wear masks on an honor system, trusting residents to wear masks if applicable.

In Norwalk, patrons and workers in City Hall and all municipal offices will still be required to wear masks for the time being, Mayor Harry Rilling said.

City Hall will reopen to the public, with no appointment necessary, on May 20. The building has been open to the public on an appointment-only basis since September due to the pandemic.

“The CDC announcement last week told us that the latest science and data are clear: Anyone who is fully vaccinated can safely resume activities without a mask or physical distancing, both inside and outside,” Rilling said. “While we are excited that we are moving in the right direction, a large portion of our population has yet to be vaccinated. When City Hall reopens fully on May 20, all staff and visitors will be required to wear masks to enter. We will continue to monitor citywide vaccination rates as well as daily case rates and change policies as appropriate.”

Individual businesses and municipalities may opt to continue with the mask mandate, according to the CDC.

Additionally, masks will still be required in schools Lamont said at Tuesday’s daily coronavirus briefing.

National wholesale retailer Costco, which has a location on Connecticut Avenue, announced beginning May 14, in municipalities and states that do not have a mask mandate, Costco shoppers will no longer need to wear masks.

“We will not require proof of vaccination, but we ask for members’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy,” the Costco announcement read. “Face coverings will still be required in healthcare settings, including Pharmacy, Optical, Hearing Aid.”

In locations where a local or state mask mandate is still in place, Costco will abide by the local regulations and require masks, according to the statement.

Beginning Monday, vaccinated Starbucks customers will no longer need to wear masks, the chain announced Friday. Like Costco, Starbucks will continue to require masks in locations where the local government still requires masks, according to the statement.

Starbucks has three locations in Norwalk, on Westport Avenue, Connecticut Avenue and Main Street.

Walmart announced Friday its stores will also allow customers and staff to shop and work without masks in municipalities and states that do not have a mask mandate. There are two Walmart locations in Norwalk, on Main and Connecticut Avenue.

Contrary to other chains, The Edge Fitness Club, which has 16 locations in Connecticut, stopped requiring masks at all locations Friday, with no mention of following local regulations on the company’s website or social media.

The Edge Vice President of Marking Ron Magliocco did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

Stew Leonard’s, a supermarket landmark in Norwalk, removed signs alerting customers of the mask mandate Monday and will allow customers to go mask-less on a trial basis until Memorial Day before a definite decision will be made, Stew Leonard Jr. said during Lamont’s daily briefing Monday.

“We aren’t going to promote not wearing a mask for unvaccinated people at all,” he said.

For the time being, staff will still be required to wear masks.

“At Stews, we are going to monitor it and make a decision based on day-to-day what customers are saying,” Leonard said.

abigail.brone@hearstmediact.com