Vermont towns weigh in on mask mandates

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 1:53 PM EST
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HARTFORD, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont towns are weighing in on mask mandates after the governor signed a new law last week granting municipalities the power to make their own choice.

Brattleboro and Rutland Town have both voted to require masks for indoor public spaces, but the town of Hartford has voted not to adopt a community-wide mask mandate. In a 5-2 vote Tuesday, the Hartford Selectboard cited enforcement concerns as the main reason for rejecting a town-wide mandate. Town officials also said that because there is not a statewide mandate, it doesn’t make sense for the town to go it alone. Many businesses and organizations in Hartford continue to require masks to enter their buildings. They say individuals have already made up their minds on masks.

“I think that the people who don’t won’t do it even if there is any kind of ordinance. I mean, a lot didn’t even when there was the emergency order in place, so I think people have their minds made up. And this way it allows people to know that if they choose not to wear a mask, they can’t go to this place or if they are wearing a mask they can,” said Hartford Selectboard Chair Dan Fraser.

Town officials say this does not mean they won’t revisit the issue at a later date if cases throughout the community continue to rise.

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