HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford city officials announced the termination of the city’s indoor mask mandate on Monday. It takes effect immediately.
During his announcement, Mayor Luke Bronin cited the falling COVID-19 positivity rates and case numbers as contributing factors to him lifting restrictions in the Capital City.
“Over the last four weeks, as we have tracked this data carefully,” the mayor explained. “We have seen those numbers remain stable, and they are about half of the positivity rate, the test positivity rate, and the case rate that we saw when we imposed this mandate back in August.”
During the late summer surge, the case rate reached a high of 26.2 and the positivity rate a high of 6.9% in mid-August. Those rates have declined to approximately 10 and 2.5%, respectively, and have remained steady since mid-October.
If there is another surge, Bronin said another mandate could be imposed. He also said that businesses are able to keep mask mandates if they want to.
Johnny Vaughan, the owner of Vaughan’s Public House, says this mandate helps bars/restaurants like his.
“You know, the holidays are upon us in a couple of weeks,” Vaughan said. “Men’s Basketball starts this weekend. Women’s Basketball starts this weekend. Men’s Hockey started last weekend. So it’s kind of the perfect storm with holidays, games, and events. You see more feet in the street…The CRA has been good to us. The city of Hartford has been good to us. The state has been good to us…They’ve helped us along the way. I gotta say, without that help, it would have been a lot more difficult.”
The mayor says he’ll still be among those who wear a mask most places, for now.
Bronin added, “And I encourage others to do the same. And we strongly urge anyone who’s not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated and get your kids vaccinated as soon as possible. The coronavirus is still with us, and it’s certainly possible that we would reinstitute a mask mandate if we see another significant surge.”
Monday’s announcement does not affect students and faculty at Hartford schools, who are still required to wear masks.