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West Hartford businesses prepare for COVID uptick in 6 Connecticut counties

The CDC announced Thursday that six Connecticut counties are back in the high-risk category for COVID-19.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed six Connecticut counties in the high-risk category for COVID-19. 

They are Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, Tolland and Windham

There is now a recommendation for people to wear masks indoors again, stay up to date with their vaccines and get tested if symptoms arise. 

At Pink Flamingo Party Co., a sign is posted up on their door to customers know a mask is required before stepping in. 

RELATED: As COVID infections rise, DPH says Connecticut is 'beyond mandates'

"We've never shied away from masks, we think they protect us and keep everybody safe," said Ashley Sodipo, owner of Pink Flamingo Party Co. 

As a party supply store, their employees attend and organize many special occasion events and the last thing they would want to do is cancel on their clients because proper precautions were not taken.

"It's a bummer...COVID is really getting on my last nerve. I'm really tired of it but I really want everyone to be safe," added Sodipo. 

Right down the street is Max's Oyster Bar. 

With the weather warming up, the option for seating has expanded. 

RELATED: Rising COVID numbers not keeping most in CT from hoppin' down the bunny trail

"We have the new street patio open in West Hartford with additional 50 plus seats," said Bob Cooke, owner of Max's Oyster Bar. 

Cooke told FOX61 that their staff is no longer required to mask up since 90 percent of them are vaccinated and/or boosted.

He said if cases worsen, he will take action. 

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"It's frustrating but until the numbers come down, we're going to have to do what we have to do to protect our employees and our guests," added Cooke. 

So far, only Fairfield and New London Counties are listed in the medium-risk category. It is still advised residents there take the proper precautions to protect themselves. 

The Department of Public Health called this an expected pattern with people wearing fewer masks and more gatherings. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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