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November 9, 2021

Hartford lifts indoor mask mandate

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper The Horace Wells statue in Hartford's Bushnell Park wears a mask at the start of the pandemic.

Hartford’s indoor mask mandate, in place since August over concerns about the COVID-19 delta variant, has been lifted.

In a statement released Monday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said a decline in coronavirus infections and test positivity meant the city could safely drop the indoor mask rule, though he urged residents to continue to exercise caution and consider wearing a mask voluntarily in some situations.

“Our team has always made clear that we will respond to the data and the trends, and that’s what we’re doing today,” Bronin said. “I’m probably going to keep wearing my mask in a lot of places, 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,” the mayor added. “But I think it’s important that we demonstrate to our community that we will impose restrictions when necessary, and that we will get rid of those restrictions when we think it’s responsible to do so.”

The announcement does not affect students and faculty at Hartford schools, who are still required to wear masks.

Hartford was one of several Connecticut cities and towns to adopt an indoor mask mandate in August, when the more-contagious delta variant caused COVID-19 infection rates to spike to levels not seen since the early weeks and months of the pandemic. Infection and positivity rates have declined since then, prompting some municipalities to scrap or at least scale back their masking rules, though with the caveat that they could be reimposed if another surge materializes.

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