Fans pass by the Hartford Yard Goats merchandise shop. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans head to Dunkin’ Donuts Park to watch the baseball game between Hartford Yard Goats and Somerset Patriots on May 20. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans head to Dunkin’ Donuts Park to watch the baseball game between Hartford Yard Goats and Somerset Patriots on May 20. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

Connecticut residents took a few cautious steps into a world once known as “normal” this week, after the state’s COVID-19 restrictions were largely put aside.

Mask restrictions that have been in effect since April 2020 — including the requirement that people wear masks indoors — were relaxed on May 19 for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but residents weren’t uniformly eager to abandon the masks.

Many businesses took advantage of the new rules and dropped mask requirements, but it wasn’t unusual to see people wearing masks even in places without restrictions.

At the Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball game in Hartford on Thursday night, though, the crowd seemed to embrace the relaxed rules.

The audience watches the baseball game between Hartford Yard Goats and Somerset Patriots on May 20. Dunkin’ Donuts Park went to full capacity beginning May 19 when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
The audience watches the baseball game between Hartford Yard Goats and Somerset Patriots on May 20. Dunkin’ Donuts Park went to full capacity beginning May 19 when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans clap during an award event at the Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans clap during an award event at the Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans cheer during the baseball game. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans pass by the Hartford Yard Goats merchandise shop. Stadium staff were wearing masks. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
From left, Kearah Vaught prepares the order while Caitlin Charest and Gabe Kucharski, of Plainville, have a conversation. Vaught said she’s fully vaccinated but prefers to wear a mask. “I feel more comfortable this way, especially when it’s a crowded area like now,” she said. “I prefer to have an extra level of safety.” Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
From left, Kearah Vaught prepares the order while Caitlin Charest and Gabe Kucharski, of Plainville, have a conversation. Vaught said she’s fully vaccinated but prefers to wear a mask. “I feel more comfortable this way, especially when it’s a crowded area like now,” she said. “I prefer to have an extra level of safety.” Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
People greet each other during a baseball game. Fans in attendance at Dunkin’ Donuts Park were not required to wear a mask. But masks were recommended for fans who were not fully vaccinated. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
People greet each other during a baseball game. Fans in attendance at Dunkin’ Donuts Park were not required to wear a mask. But masks were recommended for fans who were not fully vaccinated. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Mason Frost, 9, and Rylan Garceau, 9, decide which ice cream to order. They wore masks because they were not vaccinated. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Barriers were still installed on the top floor. A staff member said that they will be removed in June. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans walk around the hallway at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on May 20. Beginning May 19, vaccinated people were not required to wear masks indoors. Masks are still recommended for people who have not been fully vaccinated. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Fans walk around the hallway at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on May 20. Beginning May 19, vaccinated people were not required to wear masks indoors. Masks are still recommended for people who have not been fully vaccinated. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Signs that require face coverings were seen at most shops at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills on May 19. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
Gray Roegiers, left, and Yvonne Ledoux, of Middletown, have a beer outside Phantom Brewing Company in Hartford last week. It was the first time the couple, who were vaccinated a while ago, opted not to wear masks outside. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
From left, Venya Barna, 8, and Rudra Barna, 4, climb at Bushnell Park in Hartford as their mom, Ritu Barna, watches. Ritu said she stopped wearing a mask at non-crowded outdoor areas about a week ago. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
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Yehyun KimPhotojournalist

Yehyun joined CT Mirror in June 2020 as a photojournalist and a Report For America Corps Member. Her role at CT Mirror is to tell visual stories about the impact of public policy on individuals and communities in Connecticut. Prior to joining CT Mirror, Yehyun photographed community news in Victoria, Texas and was a photo and video intern at USA TODAY and at Acadia National Park in Maine. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Yehyun was born and raised in South Korea.

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