Hartford Mayor on Red Alert Level: ‘We Welcome It' to Raise Awareness

State officials said the city is on "red alert" level for cases of COVID-19.

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Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin held a news conference on Friday afternoon to give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic a day after state officials said Hartford is one of 11 cities and towns in a “red alert” level due to cases of coronavirus.

On Thursday, the state launched the color-coded COVID-19 alert system for every city and town in the state, showing the average daily case rate per 100,000 population for the last two weeks.

Bronin said the alert should serve as a reminder to residents that the threat from the coronavirus remains real.

"To the extent that this alert highlights the need for continued vigilance, we welcome it," Bronin said. "This is not a time to let down your guard."

Josh Geballe, the Chief Operating Officer for the state of Connecticut, spoke with NBC CT's Mike Hydeck about the state's new localized COVID-19 Red Alerts.

These Red Alert cities and towns also have the option to revert from Phase 3 of reopening back to Phase 2.

Bronin said he will continue to look at the option to scale back to Phase 2 of reopening from Phase 3 but at this time does not have any plans to take advantage of that option. The mayor said the city does not have a specific metric it will look at when considering a rollback.

The red level alert is for municipalities that have a two week average daily COVID-19 case rate higher than 15 per 100,000 population, orange level alert is for municipalities with case rates between 10 and 14 per 100,000 population, yellow alert level is for case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population and municipalities with case rates lower than five per 100,000 population will be colored in gray.

The mayor said the city has not seen a significant increase in hospitalizations from COVID-19. He said the cases per 100,000 population partly has to do with the amount of testing being done.

"We are currently testing more residents than any other city in the state as far as we can tell," Bronin said.

On Thursday Gov. Ned Lamont broke down COVID-19 town alert levels, described as yellow, orange, and red, and explained what steps towns and cities should be taking based on where they fall in terms of coronavirus cases.

Residents of cities deemed to be at “red alert” level are asked to limit trips outside the home and avoid gathering with non-family members. Communities are encouraged to cancel public events and limit community gathering points and to postpone all indoor activities and outdoor activities where wearing a mask or social distancing cannot be maintained, according to the state Department of Public Health.

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