Connecticut’s Executive Order No. 7BB Requires Cloth Face Coverings for All Public Contact

The state of Connecticut has been under a state of emergency due to COVID-19 since March 10, 2020. The goal of the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative is to safeguard public health during the pandemic. Now, effective 8 p.m. on April 20, 2020, cloth face coverings or a higher level of protection are required in public wherever close contact is unavoidable. This includes employees at work. This is based on Executive Order No. 7BB signed by Governor Ned Lamont. At the local level, mask orders were already in place in some cities and towns such as Bridgeport, Hamden and New Haven. This will make the public health law statewide.

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)’s has issued (and updated) guidelines for Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers. The latest update requires employees working at essential workplaces to wear a face mask or face cloth covering at all times. (This is a link to guidance from the DECD about essential businesses in Connecticut.) Here are a few highlights for employers:

  • Employers are required to provide masks or face coverings to employees.
  • Due to supply chain shortages, employers must provide materials for employees to make their own masks or face coverings.
  • Employers must provide the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tutorial for making masks and face coverings.
  • Alternately, employers must provide compensation for employees for any costs to make their own masks and face coverings.
  • New requirements do not apply to any employees with a medical condition whose health or safety would be negatively affected by wearing a mask.
  • Additionally, employees do not need to produce medical documentation to verify a stated medical condition based on the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT).

Such measures are similar to those issued by New York state, which we wrote about last week. While social distancing is, of course, preferred, there are instances where close public contact is unavoidable, including for essential employers and employees. In Connecticut, the executive order also states that riders in taxis, cars, ride-sharing services or public transportation must always wear a mask. In addition, anyone at semi-enclosed transit stops or waiting areas must wear a face covering.

Rose & Kiernan, Inc. continues to monitor and relay information related to the many aspects of dealing with COVID-19 and the workplace. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us here or by calling (800) 242-4433. You can also view our COVID-19 resources page for important information about Rose & Kiernan’s response to the virus outbreak.

Please note that news and events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are changing quickly. The information provided in this blog post represents where things stand on the date of publication.

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