New Haven COVID Task Force on lookout for businesses not following protocols in effort to keep holidays, beyond safe

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The New Haven COVID task force is in full force. Stops at local businesses will be made to make sure they are following COVID protocols.

New Haven Public Health Director Maritza Bond said the task force is on the lookout for businesses who aren’t complying with basic COVID-19 protocols like mask usage and social distancing, and it could all come at a pretty steep price for local businesses.

RELATED: New Haven COVID Task Force carries out surprise inspections inside city businesses

New Haven, along with much of the state, is in what officials are calling the Red Zone, meaning coronavirus cases are surging and the fines serve as a notice for both retailers and restaurants to do the right thing.

More importantly, to keep employees and customers safe since many plan to hit the stores and some of their favorite eateries this holiday weekend.

Director Bond said enforcement is critical for a safe holiday and beyond, and so the team plans to be working all week to make sure that happens. But she said safety is a team effort, so if you are out and about and you see something, say something.

“We will continue to work and heed to the governor’s orders which are clear because there’s a concern that across Connecticut there are inconsistencies and chronic issues with retailers and private businesses not following sector rules,” said Bond.

But restaurant advocates News 8 spoke with said this aggressive enforcement unfortunately only shines a light on the bad actors.

“We’re faced with a winter ahead of us with no outdoor dining, 50% capacity and these restaurants are struggling,” said Scott Dolch, Connecticut Restaurant Association.

While health officials at the state and local level understand the struggle for businesses to stay open, the focus is moving us out of the Red Zone.

“My message to anybody that’s looking to make a quick buck or put your employees and customers at risk, I think I need you to think twice about that,” Dolch added.

To submit a report, visit the task force’s official website.

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