By Guy Page
Tuesday night, four Vermont towns chose to not mandate masks in indoor public places. However, Williston — a major commercial center of shopping malls, superstores, and business parks — approved a mask mandate.
Selectboards in Brandon, Cambridge, Middlesex, and Shelburne all declined mask mandates. Shelburne passed a resolution recommending mask wearing. As of Wednesday morning, 12 municipalities have said no, eight have said yes, and two are requiring masks in municipal buildings only.
The Williston mandate exempts “a leader of a public service or leader of song/singing choir members, or the like. Provided however that that person’s face covering shall be immediately worn again after said communication.” It includes fines of $50 for first offense, and $500 for third offense.
The following is an up-to-date tally of Vermont municipalities known to have discussed municipal mandates requiring masking in public places. It will be updated as often as necessary as towns and cities decide yea or nay.
Meeting in Special Session Nov. 22, the Vermont Legislature passed S.1, empowering municipalities to adopt mask mandates to reduce Covid-19 transmission through April 30, 2022. The bill contains no firm deadline for municipalities to act, but does require review 45 days after adoption, and permits renewal every 30 days. S1 also says the selectboard/council may act without a citizen referendum.
Sources for information below include Vermonters who attended meetings, town officials, and media reports.
Waitsfield – Dec. 6
Essex Town – Dec. 6
East Montpelier – Dec. 6
Burlington – Dec. 2
Warren – Nov. 25
Rutland Town – Nov. 24
Brattleboro – Nov. 23
Brandon – Dec. 7
Middlesex – Dec. 7
Cambridge – Dec. 7
Shelburne – Dec. 7
Stowe – Dec. 6
Morrisville – Dec. 6
Waterbury – Dec. 6
Rutland City – Dec. 6
Charlotte – Dec. 6
Hardwick – Dec. 2
Hyde Park – Nov. 29
Masks required on Municipal Property Only
South Burlington – Dec. 6
Wolcott – Dec. 1
Non-mask, but Covid related
Berlin – Dec. 6. Discussed proposed resolution by Carl Parton to prohibit vaccine passports. No action taken.
Scheduled mask mandate discussion
Williston – 7 pm, Dec. 7 – #6 on agenda, est. time 7:20 pm
Shelburne – 7 pm, Dec. 7 – 7:35 pm at the Shelburne Town Offices at 5420 Shelburne Road. Items on the agenda are not up for discussion during the 7:05 comment time.
Cambridge – Dec. 7
Montpelier – 6:30 pm, Dec. 8, #8 on agenda
Bennington – Dec. 13 (likely)
Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.