With COVID-19 cases on the rise mayors across the state are trying to find ways to get a hold on the surge but what their hoping to do may not fully be within their control.
"We’ve got to get on top of the surge before it gets totally out of control," are the sentiments of New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker as he is proposing a plan to crack down on coronavirus.
The mayor's hope is to revert back to a version of phase 1 restrictions.
"I think phase 2 is not enough. I think we have to be clear that any place where people are congregating without masks is a problem right now. There is community spread we’re seeing cases all over the place and when people have more opportunity whether it’s restaurants or salons or wherever where they’re not wearing a mask it’s a real problem."
But it isn’t that simple for individual communities to reverse phases, as that power belongs to the governor. According to Elicker, over 4,000 cases and counting have been reported in New Haven since the beginning of the pandemic.He isn’t the only local official who thinks there needs to be a shift - Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim also is pushing for something to change.
"Yes were concerned. I’m concerned," said Ganim. He went on to highlight that Bridgeport continues to test for the virus but he feels the state and mayors need to be asking themselves the question: "What are the steps and elements of phase 1 that could or should be put into place that are critical that can help us maybe without the entire quote on quote created phase 1."
Tuesday New Haven officials announced how they’re cracking down on businesses who aren’t compliant.
"If we’re conducting inspections whether routine or on our COVID task force and we witness that there are individual staff members working and not wearing or adhering to the mask rules, they would be immediately issued a warning letter," said New Haven health director Maritza Bond.
"If we conduct and do a follow-up and see that they have still not complied, we would then issue an infraction notice similar to how we issue notice of closures and they would then be instructed to pay the fine," she added.
Bond said that businesses would be placed on a statewide list of other offending businesses. The new way of making sure businesses are COVID compliant starts this week. According to public records, New Haven has issued at least 15 letters to businesses, of those 15, eight businesses or restaurants were ordered to close.