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Health Experts Raise Concerns About Effect of Relaxed Capacity Restrictions on Connecticut COVID-19 Numbers

  • Some health experts raise concerns about the lifting of business capacity limits in Connecticut, connecting them with a recent increase in COVID-19 cases
  • Restaurant industry pushes back on charge that greater indoor dining capacities may have helped fuel the rising caseload
  • More than 2 million people in Connecticut have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose

By Dirk Langeveld

Some health experts have been raising concerns about the effect of relaxed capacity restrictions in Connecticut, saying it can likely be linked to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Although Connecticut retained its mask mandate and social distancing protocols, it began allowing 100 percent capacity at most businesses on March 19. Experts said the move potentially came too soon given the emergence of more infectious variants.

Some officials suggested that indoor dining helped fuel the recent spread of the virus, since restaurant visitors remove their masks for a prolonged period and restaurants’ ventilation systems may not be sufficient. The Connecticut Restaurant Association has repeatedly pushed back against such accusations, and noted how indoor dining has been permitted in Connecticut since June.

Connecticut had a 5 percent daily COVID-19 test positivity rate on Tuesday, up from a rate of around 3 percent in the days leading up to the lifting of capacity limits. The state has also been proceeding quickly with a vaccination effort, with more than 2 million residents receiving at least one dose as of Monday, including 45 percent of all eligible adults.

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