NEW HAVEN — Hopeful that the worst is behind them, city officials have begun to ease restrictions around social distancing as they prepare for summer activities.

On a virtual press conference Thursday, Mayor Justin Elicker said there has been a rough daily average of four new COVID-19 infections over the last few weeks, a disease that has claimed the lives of 112 city residents and infected 2,712.

“Our trending is in a very good place,” Elicker said. “I’ve been seeing people wearing masks everywhere I go.”

The next challenge for the city when it comes to containing the spread of the virus will be the July Fourth holiday. Because the holiday ordinarily lends itself to mass gatherings, Elicker said city residents must be careful and vigilant.

The city is expanding its maximum capacity at Lighthouse Point Park to 250 vehicles and has turned on its splash pads.

Elicker said a lightly-advertised testing center on the Green Wednesday tested 98 people, a result he was pleased with as large-scale testing centers have begun to close.

When the city moved to empty its shelters, people experiencing homelessness were placed into two hotels. Elicker said that, since then, roughly 120 to 130 people who have not been rehoused have been placed into just one hotel. Each hotel had only one person experiencing homelessness test positive, “a good sign cases are pretty low.”

Elicker said 222 people have been rehoused since the start of the pandemic in March.

“A ton of work went into that, the vision of ensuring the people that needed a shelter before don’t have to go back to a shelter, and doing that in a really comprehensive way is inspiring and we’re seeing that come to fruition,” he said.

The city also has eased up on using two of its local university partners for temporary housing purposes: the city closed its operations in dorms at the University of New Haven in West Haven, where public safety officers potentially exposed to the virus were residing, and a site at Albertus Magnus College for people testing positive who have no other location to self-isolate is on standby, Elicker said.

Scott Jackson, the city’s chief administrative officer, said several departments in City Hall will reopen to the public, but he urged residents to call those departments ahead of time.

“Just because you’ve come to City Hall to pay your taxes the last 10 years doesn’t mean you need to come this year,” he said.

City Health Director Maritza Bond said there has been a slight uptick in positive cases at two nursing homes in the city, but no increase in fatalities related to COVID-19.

Fire Chief John Alston said his department received nearly 10 times as many noise complaints related to fireworks in the last week of June than it did last year, and warned against the use of fireworks as a public safety issue.

“We’re concerned about that from the health and safety side, because fireworks for the most part are illegal in the state of Connecticut. If it goes boom or goes up in the air, it’s illegal,” he said.

The city has formed a task force, he said, and it has the noise ordinance on its side as a tool.

Elicker also discussed progress the city has made or will make on reforms around police accountability. He said the Board of Alders will have a full list of names to consider for the Civilian Review Board, which was established last year but is not yet operational because of vacant seats, and there has been consideration around “civilianizing parts of our police force.”

“There is potential for a crisis response team,” he said.

The city also is working on creating a more interactive site to make police statistics more readily available, and recently added a Spanish form for residents to make incident reports, he said.

“We’re all doing some broader thinking about how to keep communities safe,” Elicker said. “It’s a more long-term approach.”

brian.zahn@hearstmediact.com