HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) – In an effort to tackle 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 Thursday night.
This came after a member of the community tested positive for the omicron variant.
The indoor mask mandate comes into effect on Saturday at 12:01 am and applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
âVaccination is the primary preventative method to control the spread of COVID-19,â Garrett said in a statement. âPreventing the spread of COVID-19 is a multi-pronged approach that includes frequent hand washing, maintaining social distancing indoors, avoiding large social gatherings, vaccination and wearing masks inside. Doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will protect us and keep us all safe. We want our city to prosper, and with this mask mandate, we can stay open in taking these healthy and safe steps. “
East Hartford is bringing back an indoor mask warrant for city facilities.
People who spoke to Channel 3 were divided 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 the policy changes.
At Eli’s on Whitney, the restaurant was bustling with holiday crowds and cheers Thursday night.
Also pictured, cases of delta variants were on the rise as omicron continued to appear across the state.
âIt’s a little frustrating to come and go. One day you do it. Someday you don’t, but we’re going to do whatever we’re asked to do to protect the public, our customers and our staff. Eli’s Howard Pelkey ââsaid on Whitney.
Frustration seemed to be the word people used.
âIt’s really frustrating that people who aren’t vaccinated are putting other people at risk with it,â said Gabriella Vernacatola of Old Lyme.
Dr. Anthony J. Santella of New Haven University has heard it too.
âI know everyone, including me, is ready for this to end, but we’re just not there yet,â Santella said.
Hospitalizations and deaths have increased in the state as researchers investigate whether omicron will toss a wildcard at holiday gatherings.
Santella said the truth is that optional mask warrants will no longer work. He projected that Hamden wouldn’t be the only one to reinstate them.
âI wouldn’t be surprised if we say in a few days or a week that we’re going to see a number of other jurisdictions that take these warning signs into account,â Santella said.
Eli’s on Whitney said he wanted to protect customers and staff, but didn’t want to tell diners what to do.
âIt’s hard to control at times, especially when you’re walking from point A to point B, so you can take the mask off. It’s frustrating to explain,â Pelkey ââadded.
In recent weeks, Channel 3 has seen many communities lift their mask mandates only to reintegrate them.
East Hartford brought back its mask mandate for the city’s buildings on Wednesday.
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