Brookfield lifts indoor mask mandate as COVID rates improve

BROOKFIELD — Brookfield is lifting its indoor mask mandate.

The decision comes two months after the town re-instated its mask mandate along with Bethel, New Fairfield, Redding and Ridgefield in mid-August.

“We will be rescinding the mask mandate, effective at 12:01 a.m. Saturday (this evening) for all indoor public spaces in Brookfield,” an alert from First Selectman Steve Dunn read.

Unvaccinated people are still required to wear masks in public indoor spaces, and schools will continue to mandate mask-wearing per Gov. Ned Lamont’s statewide ruling.

Dunn has been closely watching the numbers for several weeks now. For the past two weeks, the town has hit under 10 cases per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate below 3 percent — achieving the requirement Dunn had set for lifting the mandate.

After the state released another batch of COVID-19 data Thursday, Dunn said he and his team would spend the next day analyzing numbers prior to a final decision Friday night. At the time, he already expected numbers to be trending lower.

As of Thursday, Brookfield currently has a case rate of 9.3 per 100,000 residents, and a 2 percent positivity rate, per the alert.

“Our residents have done a good job in assisting us in keeping the case rate low and the positivity rate low,” Dunn said.

Danbury also lifted its mandate this week, almost exactly two months to the day from its initial decision to mask-up a few days before the Brookfield and the four other towns followed suit.

Dunn received heat from his two opponents during a first selectman debate Tuesday night— with both questioning the need for a mask mandate in town.

Yet, while Dunn reported that a few people have told him personally that they didn’t agree with the mandate, the first selectman said most people have said they were glad it was in place when COVID numbers were higher at the end of the summer.