MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — The owner of Newfield Pizza in Middletown was happy to welcome customers back into the restaurant earlier this year.
“We fully vaccinate. We have to follow the rules to protect our clients, customers,” said owner Bashkin Bacarada.
More recently though, word that Middlesex County is now the fourth county in the state to reach a high community transmission rate for COVID-19 has cooked up concerns among customers.
“The numbers going up, they start, a little bit start wearing masks,” said Bacarada.
“Not enough people are getting vaccinated so we just have to keep it safe no matter what,” said customer Julia McEnroe of Middlefield.
The city, which is now requiring all unvaccinated employees to get tested for COVID each week, has stepped up efforts to get more people vaccinated like holding pop up vaccination clinics.
It is also requiring masks in city buildings. Some businesses like Kid City have also made masks mandatory.
“I’m just actually glad that they’re staying open and the masks aren’t a problem because the kids are just happy to be here,” said one woman who brought her grandchildren to Kid City.
“I’m totally cool with it because she’s under two so [it] makes us feel a little more comfortable when she’s around other kids and stuff like that,” said Rachel McKenna of Coventry, who brought her daughter Reese to Kid City.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said McEnroe.
For several months during the pandemic, the dining room at Newfield Pizza remained closed and the restaurant was pick up and delivery only. They even used the time to renovate the space.
The owner says that even though the dining room has reopened, fewer people in the last two weeks are choosing to come in.
Take out is taking off again and some people are requesting contactless delivery.
“They pay over the phone, leave the food at the front door,” said Bacarada.
More COVID cases and more precautions, especially for those with kids.
“See you later,” said little Reese McKenna.