Health professors who live in Fairfield want town mask mandate

Photo of Ben Lambert
A group of health professors have written a letter to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, calling for a townwide indoor mask mandate.

A group of health professors have written a letter to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, calling for a townwide indoor mask mandate.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — Five public health professors who live in town are calling on the first selectwoman to adopt a universal indoor mask mandate.

In a letter sent Saturday to Fairfeld First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, the professors pointed to the rising number of COVID cases in town and the threat of the delta variant as reasons for everyone to be required to wear masks indoors.

After Gov. Ned Lamont granted municipal leaders authority to create their own restrictions, officials in most Connecticut cities and some towns are now requiring masks inside all public places regardless of vaccination status.

Pointing to the 55 COVID cases reported in Fairfield the week ending on Aug. 8, the health professionals said the town, which has a population of about 61,000, meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s threshold for when the agency recommends masks worn indoors.

“At the population level, continued transmission also risks additional variants that may evade vaccines. It is imperative that the town uphold and enforce CDC mask guidance for communities with substantial COVID transmission until we achieve a higher level of vaccination and the prevalence of COVID decreases in our community,” the residents wrote in the letter to Kupchick. “We implore you, as a matter of your professional and ethical responsibility to your constituents, to adopt and enforce a mask mandate for indoor spaces.”

The letter was signed by Lucian Davis, Heather Lipkind, and Marney White, all staff members of Yale School of Medicine; Sarah Felice Evans, an assistant professor with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Sofia Pendley, assistant clinical professor at Sacred Heart University Department of Public Health.

White previously also wrote a petition on Change.org, asking the state Department of Education to allow the option of remote learning.

The state is no longer requiring school districts to offer a remote learning option like they did during the height of the pandemic.

Fairfield resident Mason Yeoh, along with his girlfriend, Macy Shulman, have organized a rally for 11 a.m. Monday at Town Hall to advocate for a remote learning option in hopes of keeping their families protected.

Yeoh said last week that he doesn’t want to risk bringing home an infection that could potentially kill his older brother who is immunocompromised.

william.lambert@hearstmediact.com