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COVID-19 Executive Order for Businesses Takes Effect in New Haven Today

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New Haven is rolling out a new policy for businesses in the city starting on Monday and it is aimed at keeping workers safe amid the pandemic.

The new policy is focused on creating a list of procedures for businesses to follow who have employees coming to work in-person.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker signed the executive order that said these businesses that have people working in-person must develop a Return to Work Policy.

It must include protocols for employee health screenings, mandatory leave and return to work protocols for symptomatic or COVID positive employees, mandatory social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.

The policy needs to be shared with employees and posted in public spaces like break rooms.

Businesses are also required to give employees sick time and expanded family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Employers must report any cases to the Department of Health within 24 hours and direct their employees on isolation and quarantine procedures.

Elicker said he signed the executive order to keep people safe and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

This comes as officials at Yale New Haven Health said they are officially in a second wave of the coronavirus and there are 457 in-patients across the system.

The numbers are climbing back and staff said they need relief, either more staff or fewer patients and urged people to wear a mask.

Officials from the healthcare system said they are both concerned about the virus spreading among people who gather without masks with people outside their own household or "pod."

They said they are concerned about the impact from people traveling for Thanksgiving.

Officials said there 239 patients at Yale New Haven Hospital, 132 at Bridgeport Hospital, 32 and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, 32 at Greenwich Hospital and 13 at Westerly Hospital.

It puts pressure on the staff, but they are handling it, Yale New Haven Health officials said.

To treat coronavirus patients, the healthcare system is redeploying personnel, including nurses, who have moved into management roles to care for them.

Officials from Yale New Haven Health said they expect to be getting coronavirus vaccines at the end of this week or the beginning of next. They are expecting around 29,000 and they plan to begin vaccinating staff with about 7,800 people getting vaccines per week for three weeks.

The vaccine will not be mandatory for staff members of the healthcare system.

According to the most recent data released by the state, Connecticut's COVID-19 positivity rate is 5.52%.

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