Hartford has reinstituted an indoor mask mandate citywide as COVID-19 cases surge, according to Mayor Luke Bronin.
The mayor made the announcement on Monday.
The mandate requires that masks be worn in all indoor settings at least through the end of January. There are exceptions for those with certain medical conditions, children under the age of two, while someone is actively eating or drinking, and in some settings inside private offices and office buildings.
“We all hope that the Omicron surge will soon peak and that we'll see case rates fall, but with the current numbers, we've got to do whatever we can, even at the margins," said Mayor Bronin. "In putting this indoor mask requirement back in place right now, we're thinking first and foremost about those frontline workers who have no choice but to interact with the public at large, and who deserve whatever additional protection we can give them."
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Hartford will also begin what it calls priority distribution of at-home COVID-19 tests and N95 and KN95 masks.
After distributing 8,000 test kits to the public last week, the city received 9,000 new test kits over the weekend. The mayor says the distribution will target specific groups to help the city deal with the spread of the omicron variant.
The allocation of those test kits are as follows:
- 3,500 kits for staff of the Hartford Public Schools, Early Learning Centers, and the Hartford Family Child Care Network
- 2,200 kits for staff and residents of the Hartford Housing Authority and of elderly assisted living facilities and housing developments with home-bound seniors
- 2,750 kits for City employees providing essential in-person public services, and for Hartford Public Library employees
- 500 kits for the staff and guests at City senior centers
- 2,000 kits to be held in reserve pending future allocations