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Hartford reinstates mask indoor mandate through end of the month

Mayor Luke Bronin also announces a distribution plan for masks and COVID tests.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford will restart an indoor mask mandate that will run through Jan. 31, officials announced on Monday. 

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the order "includes exceptions for those with relevant medical conditions, those under the age of 2, those eating or drinking, and in certain circumstances 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 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."

The current surge in COVID-19 has prompted many to wear their masks even before the mandate was announced. Some said they are growing more and more concerned about community spread.

"I myself am a little worried about getting sick so I've definitely been making sure that I have one on me," said Danielle Amon of Hartford.

"I know a lot of people with it and they say it's no joke and I'm not playing around with it either. It's nothing to play with right now," said Chrisshawn Richards of West Hartford.

Some businesses never stopped requiring masks. Capital Spirits on Pratt Street has been open throughout the entire pandemic, and workers are face-to-face every day.

"It's not for just everybody's safety, it's for our safety as well. We're all fully vaccinated here, with boosters, just to help prevent this disease to keep continuing growing, just please wear a mask," said Jose Rivera.

The city also updated its allocation plan for home test kits and KN95 and N95 masks.

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RELATED: List of COVID testing kit distributions by town in Connecticut

Bronin said the city has received about 9,000 new at-home test kits from the state on Sunday. He said the priority is to support Hartford Public Schools' teaching staff, along with staff and students at the city's early learning centers and the Family Child Care Network.

"We will also be providing an allocation of kits to the Hartford Housing Authority for distribution to staff and each of their households, and to elderly assisted living facilities and housing developments with home-bound seniors," the mayor said. "Lastly, we will designate a supply of kits for City employees providing essential in-person public services, to help ensure continuity of government services during the surge.”

RELATED: FDA expands Pfizer boosters for more teens as omicron surges

The city’s current supply of at-home COVID-19 test kits will be allocated 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

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at gmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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