HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) – In an effort to combat a growing number of coronavirus cases in the state, a community in New Haven County will reinstate its indoor mask mandate.
Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett made the announcement on Thursday evening.
It came after a community member tested positive for the omicron variant.
The indoor mask mandate comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
“Vaccination is the primary preventive method for controlling the spread of COVID-19,” Garrett said in a statement. “Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a multi-pronged approach that includes frequent hand washing, maintaining social distancing indoors, avoiding large social gatherings, vaccinations and wearing masks. Doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will protect We want our city to thrive, and with this mask mandate, we can stay open by taking these healthy and safe steps.
East Hartford is bringing back an indoor mask mandate for city facilities.
People who spoke to Channel 3 were split over the announcement.
On the one hand, some said it was necessary to protect people. On the other hand, some felt frustrated and tired of policy changes.
At Eli’s on Whitney, the restaurant surged with crowds and holiday cheer on Thursday night.
Also in the picture, cases of delta variants were increasing as omicron continues to appear across the state.
“It’s a little frustrating going back and forth. One day you do it. One day you don’t, but we’re going to do whatever we’re asked to do to protect the public, our customers and our staff” , said Howard Pelkey of Eli is on Whitney.
Frustration seemed to be the word people were using.
“It’s really frustrating to see people who aren’t vaccinated putting other people at risk with this,” said Gabriella Vernacatola of Old Lyme.
Dr. Anthony J. Santella of the University of New Haven also heard it.
“I know everyone, including me, is ready for this to end, but we’re just not there yet,” Santella said.
Hospitalizations and deaths have risen in the state as researchers look to see if omicron will throw a wildcard at holiday gatherings.
Santella said the truth is that optional mask mandates will no longer work. He anticipated that Hamden would not be the only one to reinstate them.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we said in a few days or a week that we’re going to see a number of other jurisdictions heed these warning signs,” Santella said.
Eli’s on Whitney said it wanted to protect customers and staff, but would not tell diners what to do.
“It’s hard to control at times, especially when you’re walking from point A to point B, then you can take the mask off. It’s frustrating to explain,” Pelkey added.
Over the past few weeks, Channel 3 has seen many communities lift their mask mandates only to have them reinstated.
On Wednesday, East Hartford brought back its mask mandate for city buildings.
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