NEW HAVEN, Conn — Last year, New Haven officials temporarily shut down a couple of businesses for COVID-19 non-compliance. The City hopes now businesses take the latest mandate seriously.
New Haven health director Maritza Bond says this week is all about educating businesses about the new mask mandate that requires face coverings for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor settings, such as bars, restaurants, theaters, stores, and offices, where social distancing is not possible.
"We want to make sure that businesses adjust and or provide support if masks are needed," Bond said.
A COVID-19 Task Force will fan out across the city. There will be no fines issued at this time.
"What we’re going to do is assess within the next week to see how our compliance efforts are going and then I will make decisions thereafter," Bond said.
Despite the Delta variant's high transmissibility, Hamden, which has required masks in municipal buildings throughout the pandemic, is not quite ready to issue a blanket indoor mask mandate.
"People almost have to think of it as a new Covid," said Hamden Mayor Curt Balzano Leng. "It’s five times as powerful. So one person that has it is going to spread it to five people."
The Mio Salon in North Haven has kept a close eye on New Haven. For now "we have our clients dictate to us what they feel comfortable doing," said Rosemary Raffone of Mio Salon. "If they feel that they want to have their mask on or if they want us to have our mask on we put it on."
"I’d rather wear a mask than be sick," Tom Navin of Wallingford. "I can’t put it any simpler than that. I don’t enjoy it. It’s not comfortable, especially like in humid weather like this but it’s better than the alternative."
All health officials say masking helps, but vaccinations are the key.
"Those that received at least one dose we are at 65% of eligible residents that are partially protected and those that are fully vaccinated are at 59%," said Bond of New Haven
Most people speaking with FOX61 Monday said wearing masks is not a big deal to them because it could help us get to the other side of this COVID nightmare quicker.
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