New Haven’s COVID task force making sure businesses are following city’s mask policy | Connecticut News


NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – With just a few shopping days left until Christmas and an indoor mask mandate still in place, the Elm City wants to make sure stores and customers are following the rules.

It’s not Santa’s naughty list and a stocking full of coal, but a couple of businesses got a verbal warning today from New Haven’s health director.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, along with the city’s health director and members of the Elm City’s COVID Task Force, spent part of the afternoon stopping by stores in the Broadway Shopping District.

The city says the goal of Tuesday’s canvas is simple, they don’t want any businesses to get in trouble, rather they just want to make sure they’re following the rules and going along with the city’s indoor mask mandate.

While most stores were compliant, there were a few that got verbal warnings for not having an employee masked up.

Along with warnings, the city also provided masks to a number of stores, along with posters, highlighting masks, vaccines, and testing sites.

This is something the city has been doing since bringing the mask mandate back in effect in August.

In fact, before Tuesday’s canvas, New Haven’s health department visited more than 870 businesses, issuing nineteen verbal warnings, 4 written warnings, and receiving more than 100 tips.

As for the masks, New Haven’s mayor says, while plenty of people are getting tired of the pandemic, he stresses it’s a simple gesture to keep you and others safe while out in public, specially now during the busy holiday season.

“It’s our civic duty to do it and I just find it hard to believe that people would be so passionate about what people call their civil rights, when they’re required to wear pants when they go into a store, when they’re not allowed to smoke when they go into a store, and this is something they can do to keep other people safe,” stated Elicker.

“Because of where we are currently, we are taking this matter seriously. We’re asking businesses to step up and be responsible, ensuring that we can safely remain reopened, because right now, we’re seeing a significant amount of cases happening in our city, our state, and nationally across the country,” New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond explained.

So what’s next? The mayor says with the Omicon variant and rising case numbers, he expects the mask mandate to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

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