STAMFORD, Connecticut. – Bridgeport, Hartford and Stamford will impose the wearing of an indoor mask among others coronavirus thrust fueled by the delta variant, officials said. Hartford and Bridgeport’s demands will go into effect on Wednesday and Stamford’s will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, the towns’ mayors said.
Stamford Mayor David Martin said the delta variant of the coronavirus had dropped cases in his town from just three to four in mid-June to 175 cases last week.
“I’m unhappy with it. I don’t like having to do it,” Martin said. “But we have to keep our community safe, we have to stop this delta variant.”
As part of the restored mandate, masks will be required in all public places such as restaurants, shops and lounges. They will also be needed at large outdoor events in public parks, like the Hey Stamford Food Fest at Mill River Park, where Nelly performs on Saturday and thousands of people are expected.
The warrant comes even as Martin said 85% of Stamford residents over 12 have received at least one shot of the vaccine, a number he wants to see go even higher.
Adrianno Vidi, the manager of the Kouzina restaurant on Stamford’s main street, said he understands the need to bring back masks at the moment, and some of his customers have agreed.
“I totally agree with that, if it’s going to help get things back to normal,” Vidi said.
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Enforcement officers will issue warnings and sanctions in the form of fines or judgments, as appropriate.
Vidi hopes most customers will comply, so her staff don’t have to watch.
Martin said he understands business concerns, but that ultimately it would ensure the city’s economy continues to function properly.
“I realize it’s a challenge,” he said. “But if we don’t stop this delta variant from setting our community ablaze, we are also going to suffer an economic disaster.”
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim said in a statement the city could not afford to reinstate closures or capacity mandates.
“But we can exercise better judgment and easily adapt to our own behaviors by just getting vaccinated and putting on a mask,” Ganim said.
Bridgeport’s mandate will follow federal guidelines and apply to indoor facilities such as restaurants, grocery stores, theaters, gyms and retail stores.
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Hartford Rules will apply to anyone inside the city, except medical conditions, children under 2, people eating or drinking, and office spaces where workspaces are. separated by partitions.
New Haven became the first city of Connecticut to impose masks in interior spaces Monday after Democratic Governor Ned Lamont granted municipalities the power to require masks. Lamont did not reimpose mask requirements statewide.
Back in May, Connecticut lifted its mask mandate for those vaccinated but companies might require customers to wear them.
That has changed with the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut surpassing 200 for the first time since early May. The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the state has increased over the past two weeks, from around 220 on July 25 to around 540 on Sunday.
With The Associated Press.