Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wants the residents and businesses in Hartford to understand details of the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions that takes effect this Friday.
Capacity restrictions in Connecticut are just days away now from rolling back and state leaders say despite Tuesday’s positivity rate of nearly 5%, state leaders say the overall metrics look positive.
“The reality is over the last month it’s been very stable which gives the governor a lot of confidence that we can move forward with lifting these capacity restrictions,” Chief Operating Officer for the State of Connecticut Josh Geballe said.
Bronin and other city officials held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to remind restaurants, retailers, and houses of worship that social distancing and mask-wearing will still be requirements when the state removes some capacity limitations.
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Earlier this month, Gov. Ned Lamont announced there will no longer be capacity limits at restaurants, gyms, libraries, museums, retail stores, offices, personal services, and houses of worship as of March 19.
The state's travel protocols will also change from a mandate to a recommendation.
Bronin said the city's most recent COVID-19 positivity rate was 2.7%, which was lower than the state average.
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Geballe said as long as the overall positivity rate, vaccination rate and number of hospitalizations continue to improve, the new guidelines for the businesses will remain.
“We already vaccinated a huge portion of the state population but in the meantime people need to keep wearing their masks when they’re around other people when they’re in crowded places especially when you haven’t been vaccinated,” Geballe said.
So far Connecticut has vaccinated ¾ of those 65 and above and more than 30% of the entire adult population. He said the state is still shooting to have the vaccine available to everyone by the end of April or early May.
“They are going to be ready to go. We’ve got the call center set up we’ve got the websites powered up but again the limiting factor is a number of vaccines that we get,” Geballe said.
“You should still get tested if you have any reason at all to think you should get tested,” Bronin said.
He reminded the community to stay vigilant amid the easing of capacity restrictions. The city is set to pass out thousands of cloth masks at places of worship along with flyers at restaurants to keep people aware.
“We’re going to continue to stay focused on making sure that those common sense requirements that are still in place are respected and honored because its critical to maintaining the progress that we made,” Bronin said.