Mayor Issues Stay Home Protocol

News release from Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Ganim issues recommended curfew of 8:00pm for City of Bridgeport. Mayor Ganim has sent the message to Stay Safe at Home in an effort to “double down” and reinforce Governor Lamont’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order. This is a recommended curfew to save lives.

As seen on the State of Connecticut’s website, the Governor’s order is as follows:
Notice Stay informed about coronavirus (COVID-19): Governor Lamont is telling Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” All non-essential workers are directed to work from home, and social and recreational gatherings of more than five are prohibited.

This morning and in the days ahead, city residents will receive an Emergency Operations Communications voice message generated via automation system to advise them of the “Stay Home” order. The message is as follows:
A message from Mayor Ganim, City of Bridgeport. Mayor Ganim has ordered Stay Home protocol in the City of Bridgeport as of Wednesday, April 8th. For more information join the Facebook Live at Joe Ganim, or tune into WICC 600 or Radio Cumbre 1450 at 12:30pm today.

Tomorrow, Bridgeport residents can expect to see signage throughout the entire city via yard signs and VMS signs. In addition, the EOC has requested more VMS signage from our Regional coordinator of Emergency Management. Attached is a copy of the yard sign that will be seen throughout the city.

Mayor Ganim and city officials have been in contact with grocery stores and restaurants, most are closed, or closing at or around 8:00pm. Grocers and restaurant owners are receptive to the Stay Home order in the interest of protecting their customers, employees and community. It was discussed and considered that customers and residents may be traveling home from picking up their essentials just after 8:00pm. The City also understands and recognizes that employees of these establishments may have more work to do and will be leaving their job site after the 8:00pm closing time.

All city, state and local officials, community leaders, as well as Bridgeport residents are encouraged to create their own Stay Safe, Stay Home messaging and share this message city-wide in the days ahead on social media and any means possible.

Mayor Ganim will talk with Anne Diamond, President of Bridgeport Hospital and Vince DiBattista, President of Hartford Healthcare–St. Vincent’s Medical Center, on the Facebook Live Virtual Town Hall tomorrow at 12:30pm to share their expert advice with Bridgeport residents.

This curfew is public safety measure and an effort to PROTECT our residents from COVID-19 and to help flatten the curve, minimize residents contracting the coronavirus, and ultimately minimize fatalities. Our healthcare workers at Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent’s are experiencing the surge and saving lives, we NEED to support them by Staying Home.

Visit for COVID-19 updates and information.

Mayor Ganim Virtual Townhalls on Facebook Live at 12:30pm



  1. Does anyone else question the silence on the subject of Covid-19 testing? Of course when we cannot gather around a table and provide comments to questions raised, including facts and opinions, we are poorer as a result. If you look at ONLY IN BRIDGEPORT as a community bulletin board that can access facts and opinion from our broad and diverse “neighborhood”, we need more folks to provide comments on major issues that are up for public consideration at the moment. Perhaps Mayor Ganim might consider my observation, posted twice today on OIB. Participation in OIB, by reading or writing, is a social response in a time of “social distancing.” Masks and gloves not required. Reveal your caring for all and your thought power to help us come through the virus challenge. Peace, JOHN MARSHALL LEE

    It is April 8, 2020 (9:30 AM) and I have reviewed Tuesday comments from Mayor Ganim. The pandemic has provided leaders (and citizens) with multiple unique challenges. Some of us ask questions. On April 4 I wrote of a continuing concern that is unanswered despite the multiple attempts to provide us with facts, figures, and best practices regarding the virus.
    What is the current story on Covid 19 testing? Locally where are the tests done? Have rules changed to qualify for such a test? In Bridgeport who are all of the parties doing the testing? Since there are multiple City, State and Federal health authorities, who is tasked with providing these tests and is the process coordinated in any manner? Are any of them responsible to provide info on test results for communication to the public daily? There is news that the City is hiring an experienced City Health Director before May 1. What role will this City department executive play in the testing scheme?
    Yesterday the Mayor reported that 236 cases of Covid-19 and 3 deaths are current. The numbers seem low and folks are asking why. The City offers that early and frequent advice from the Mayor’s Office as likely responsible for what seems like “good news”. The reported cases have been discovered as part of citizens awareness of symptoms and alerting medical practitioners to be authorized for testing. Is it possible for us to learn how many tests are done currently that turn out negative as well as positive? Such a daily report might provide not only more info but some balance as well to folks.
    Originally, an inadequate supply of test kits, materials, re-agents, swabs, etc. was been provided nationally as the reason for rationing testing. Rationing testing has eliminated surveillance testing techniques, as well. Where does that stand today? Who can tell us how much new testing equipment enters our Bridgeport system daily and how many are used? Are we developing a “stockpile”?
    Shouldn’t we know this basic background info as we learn that some folks, whether in the White House, or on the healthcare front lines are provided more than one testing opportunity? It is well to hear that Bridgeport hospital beds and ventilators appear adequate to the current challenge, but testing is so basic to eliminating virus concerns ultimately and no one is communicating facts and figures on this subject daily. Why not? Can you and will you provide all the folks interested with the facts? Time will tell.

  2. I get that Joe is trying to be a leader and “guide” the city,but his directives so far are confusing and frankly seem not thought out well..Let’s start off with this past weekend, Joe posted a video on his Facebook page showing us that Seaside park was desolate,so what happens?,Sunday,being a beautiful day,hundreds and hundreds of people flocked there.A few days before that,Joe “banned fishing” in Bpt,this after Gov Lamont opened fishing season earlier than normal so people could get out,practice social distancing and fish(can’t make this stuff up).
    And Monday,Joe announced a new 8:00 curfew for all buisnesses.Sounds good,but again,not well thought out,even a memeber of his own CC is left in the dark,proving Joe doesn’t even consult the CC before he issues these directives.His handling of this situation has been a mess honestly.He needs to get better direction or just post what State and Federal are suggesting..


    BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Joe Ganim’s well-intentioned but vaguely explained efforts to impose a voluntary 8 p.m. curfew on Connecticut’s largest city have locally sown confusion and frustration.

    “You can’t shut everything down. You just can’t,” Councilwoman Eneida Martinez, who keeps her Latin and Soul Food Cafe open late into the night, said Tuesday.

    Timothy Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, which lobbies for a wide variety of business chains statewide, said a member pharmacy contacted him with concerns about Ganim’s stay-at-home order, the latest local attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

    “We’re not looking to pick a fight with the mayor. We appreciate his intention,” Phelan said Tuesday. “We think he’s doing what he thinks is best for public health.”

    However, Phelan added, his association has over the past few weeks urged pandemic-related business restrictions aimed at keeping the public at home — or at least several feet apart when out — be left up to the governor “so we didn’t have a patchwork of municipal rules and regulations.

    For example, Gov. Ned Lamont has directed workers at non-essential businesses to stay home and ordered gatherings restricted to no more than 5 people. Restaurants are also limited to delivery and take-out only.

    “This closing at 8 p.m. would fall in that (patchwork) category,” Phelan said. “If you want to set a time for when you close, let’s talk the reasonableness of that time, rather than a random, ‘We’re going to close at 8 p.m.’”

    Lamont, during his own Tuesday afternoon press conference on the pandemic, told the Connecticut Post, “Every town is a little different … so I respect Mayor Ganim’s thought that an 8 p.m. curfew makes sense for Bridgeport. What makes sense for Bridgeport may not make sense for Pomfret, so we’ll leave that up to local discretion for now.”

    Ganim first announced the nighttime shutdown in his daily Facebook address on Monday, with Wednesday as the start date. But while on Facebook Tuesday the mayor confusingly said, “It’s effective Wednesday. Some of it will start tonight.”

    He also on Tuesday mentioned he was inspired by Boston, but that city this week adopted a recommended 9 p.m. curfew.

    Initially Ganim’s target was neighborhood corner stores “staying open until 1, 2, 3 o’clock in the morning.”

    “That’s going to stop,” he said Monday.

    But when asked by the Connecticut Post during his Tuesday Facebook address for further curfew details, Ganim described a much broader effort.

    “We’d like everyone … to stay at home after 8 p.m.,” he said and referred to general “enforced closures of businesses.” He added there will be “some nuances” but offered no additional insight at that time.

    And that lack of clarification has left Ganim’s intent up to interpretation. While statewide several businesses like supermarkets, package stores, gas stations, pharmacies and restaurants have been deemed essential and allowed to continue serving customers, Lauren Coakley Vincent understood the mayor’s curfew included “everybody.”

    Coakley Vincent is president of the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District, which helps promote that neighborhood.

    “So liquor stores, restaurants, pharmacies, grocery stores, my understanding is everybody’s closed at 8 p.m.,” she said Tuesday. “What is not clear to me is how enforcement will happen. … This is a question I’ve put in to the mayor’s office. What is the consequence if you happen to be open after 8 p.m.?”

    Ganim was not clear on that either during Tuesday’s Facebook address.

    “It’s a stay-at-home order, but it’s done in partnership with you at this point,” he said. “It will get ratcheted up if we have to.”

    The mayor added, “If you’re not complying with this you’re not going to get left alone. … We’re going to ask our (police) officers — uniformed services, others, to be part of it (enforcement) as well.” Ganim also mentioned the health department.

    It also was initially unknown Tuesday whether 8 p.m. meant businesses must stop serving customers at 8 p.m. or must be dark, locked, with employees exiting and heading home, by 8 p.m. For example, the Special Services District’s website has a list of 14 downtown restaurants that have been offering take-out until 8 p.m., so staff would technically still be on the premises afterward cooking, preparing deliveries and cleaning.

    “That’s a good question to clarify,” Coakley Vincent said.

    Subsequently on Tuesday evening Ganim’s office issued a statement that recognized “customers and residents may be traveling home from picking up their essentials just after 8:00 p.m. (and) employees of these establishments may have more work to do and will be leaving their job site after the 8:00 pm closing time.”

    Rich Ndini, co-owner of one of downtown’s oldest dining establishments — Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s — said his restaurant has been selling takeout trays of Italian fare that feed five or six. He had no problem with the 8 p.m. curfew.

    “This is not a time to quibble, you know,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to accommodate my customers, try to save the business and go by the rules.”

    But Martinez, whose soul food operation is in the North End, and Martin McCarthy, who operates the Fire Engine Pizza Company in the Black Rock section of the city, both characterized an 8 p.m. shutdown as unworkable.

    Martinez said she sometimes serves meals until midnight, particularly to customers who work late hours.

    “Yesterday I had a big order from the halfway house — six dinners — and they didn’t come pick those up until about 9:30 p.m.,” she said. “I had another order from a few nurses at St. Vincent’s (hospital). They picked those up about 10:15.”

    And McCarthy said he too has fed medical staff and police officers pizzas well past 8 p.m.

    “I’ve got a friend who runs the emergency room at St. Vincent’s. I’ve gone up there at 1 a.m. with a stack of food,” McCarthy said. “1 a.m. is their lunch time. … I understand the premise. I get what he’s (Ganim) trying to do. But it’s unreasonable.”

    And, Martinez added, what if people working later shifts need to stop somewhere in Bridgeport for gas, only the mayor has shut all the stations down, too? She added that the city does not have enough police officers to fight crime, let alone enforce a curfew.

    Harry Rodriguez typically keeps his J&H Grocery on Wood Avenue open until 10 p.m. Rodriguez on Tuesday worried that the 8 p.m. deadline will force more people to rush in earlier, crowding his premises and creating an unhealthy situation.

    “From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be so crazy,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not that corona comes from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Coronavirus is here. People need to be careful. … The longer hours we have, the safer we’ll be.”

    Though the information has been muddled, Ganim’s message this week was stern and consistent: Bridgeport and its residents and businesses must shake up their normal routines in order to stay healthy and to beat the pandemic.

    “The concept of just constantly being out as normal for anyone, especially past 8 p.m., is changing effective tomorrow,” Ganim said Tuesday. “Let’s shut it down. Let’s start at 8 p.m. Let’s keep people home. Let’s get through the next few weeks together.”

  3. Here we go again, Governor Ganim trying to run with the big dogs like the governors of New York, New Jersey and California with his 8pm citywide curfew to stay at home. Norwalk mayor Harry Rilling got it right when he said,“We cannot pick and choose which essential stores would stay open and which would have to close,” Rilling said. And, he said, since supermarkets and other stores statewide are trying to limit their capacity — a move that was spurred by Norwalk — the lines of customers waiting outside could potentially get longer because of a curfew.
    That would “reduce the likelihood of people physical distancing and increase the risk of spreading coronavirus,” Rilling said. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Sunday issued a “recommended curfew of 9 p.m.” and asked all residents to wear a mask when leaving the house after the city saw its largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases.

    Governor Ganim, this metaphor definitely describes you, “If you can’t run with the big dogs then stay on the porch,” oh.. that’s right, it’s MAYOR Ganim.


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