By Eric O’Connell / Zip06.com • May 8, 2021 04:00 PM EST

Westbrook leaders are urging people to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and cover up again in the face of the growing spread of the virus.

As the weather warms up in 2021, there’s a sense that life for Westbrook residents has returned to normal. The masking and social distancing mandates that have dominated life since March 2020 were relaxed in the spring, and with the increasing availability of vaccines, the longevity of vaccines is being tested. care. However, in recent weeks, cases of the virus have begun to spread in Westbrook and across the state.

As a result, Westbrook officials made decisions to combat the spread.

For starters, “We’re going back to the fact that nobody enters City Hall without a mask,” said First Picker Noel Bishop.

Requirements for masks extend beyond City Hall to include all indoor city buildings. Bishop said employees will also be required to wear masks. Even people who are fully vaccinated will be required to wear masks.

As the virus spreads, all board and city committee meetings will be conducted with a hybrid model to reduce the need for people to gather indoors.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced in a press release August 2 that “Middlesex County has, along with six other Connecticut counties, been classified by the CDC as having ‘significant transmission’ of COVID-19. The CDC classifies counties with more than 50 COVID cases per hundred thousand residents in seven days as ‘Significant.’

In the two-week period from July 11 to 29, Westbrook had six confirmed COVID cases.

“This needs to be taken very, very seriously,” warned Bishop.

The information provided by the health ministry did not specify whether the new cases were from the delta variant of the disease or another variant, nor did it reveal the vaccination status of the confirmed cases. COVID cases by town can be tracked at Portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.

Westbrook has been upgraded from gray to yellow. Gray is the lowest level of interest and yellow is the next lowest.

Bishop says that despite the setbacks, returning mask missions and virtual meetings won’t affect how the town can do its business.

“It will not disrupt our ability to provide services. Bishop said.

Bishop said he does not know how long the new guidelines will be in effect, and said it is a complicated situation that depends on the guidance from the health department and the CDC.

“We’re going to do it week by week,” Bishop said.

As noted in a health ministry press release, the best recommendation to combat the spread of the virus is to have unvaccinated people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Vaccination remains the single most important measure of protection against illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Cases of so-called ‘vaccine breakthroughs’ have occurred in Connecticut, but they are still rare and the majority of hospitalizations and deaths in Connecticut and nationally have been in unvaccinated people, ” the statement said.

All Connecticut residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. You can find available appointments at Portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal.

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