Mask warrant lifted at West Hartford Center, library appointments no longer required – We-Ha

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As of Wednesday, May 19, masks will no longer be required in the West Hartford Center or in most buildings in the city.

By Ronni Newton

Signs requiring face masks to be worn on the sidewalks of the West Hartford Center will be removed from Wednesday, May 19, a date also set by Governor Ned Lamont for the lifting of most remaining trade restrictions on COVID-19.

While many outdoor spaces did not require face coverings even during the height of the pandemic, the mask’s mandate was put in place at West Hartford Center in the summer of 2020, as the narrow sidewalks and close to Outdoor food courts for pedestrians made it difficult to maintain the recommended distance of 6 feet from others. The city’s fire and police departments, along with representatives from the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, have distributed masks and buttons throughout the summer and fall, encouraging compliance and , in September, were allowed to commit offenses to those who did not comply.

Lamont, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced last Thursday that not only will the state lift trade restrictions from May 19, but also from that date anyone fully vaccinated will not. would no longer be required to do so. wear a mask inside in most cases.

Earlier this month, the CDC recommended that it would no longer be necessary to wear masks outdoors in most cases, but City Manager Matt Hart said he was willing to wait for further advice from the ‘State before lifting the restrictions in the center.

On Tuesday, the governor issued Executive Order 12, repealing the previous decree relating to the wearing of masks or other face masks (Executive Order 7NNN), allowing those who are fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after receiving the second Pfizer vaccine or Moderna, or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine) to not have a mask even indoors or when social distancing is not possible. Masks are still mandatory for all those who do not have a medical or other reason preventing them from wearing them, in certain places including on public transport, in hospitals, retirement homes and correctional facilities.

Businesses have the power to set their own rules regarding face coverings.

Josh Geballe, the state’s director of operations, told a press briefing Monday that it was like the adage “no shoes, no shirt, no service.” Customers have the option of going elsewhere if they don’t like the rules.

Trader Joes’s, which has a location in Corbin’s Corner, West Hartford, announced almost immediately after the new CDC guidelines that they would not require vaccinated customers to wear masks.

Several West Hartford fitness facilities have also released updated guidelines in response. Edge Fitness, a large gym in Corbin’s Corner, said in a press release Tuesday that effective May 19: “Face masks are optional for fully immunized members and guests.” Edge will no longer limit the capacity of its group fitness classes and the locker rooms, saunas and the kids’ club are also fully open.

“We are happy to announce that as per CDC and state guidelines, people who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your last dose of Covid-19) are no longer required to wear a mask inside the studio, ”BodyRoc, a fitness studio on New Park Avenue in West Hartford, said in an email Tuesday. The studio is “non-judgmental,” the email notes, and those who prefer to continue to mask themselves even after being fully immunized should feel free to continue to do so.

West Hartford City Public Relations Specialist Ren̩e McCue said on Tuesday those who are vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks in city buildings such as Town Hall Рbut libraries remain the exception.

West Hartford Library. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo we-ha.com)

All three branches of the West Hartford Public Library were open by appointment only, but this restriction was lifted on May 17.

West Hartford Public Schools will require masks for staff and students at least until the end of the school year. “Much of the library’s programming is aimed at school-aged children,” said McCue, many of whom are not even eligible for immunizations yet.

Starting June 7, library hours will be extended, with the main library closing at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The main branch will close at 5 p.m. on Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Hours of operation will also be extended at Faxon and Bishops Corner branches.

Curbside pickup will continue to be offered at all three locations.

Indoor programs will not return to West Hartford Libraries until the fall, but children’s activities and other programs will take place outdoors.

More information can be found on the West Hartford Libraries website.

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