Lamont says Connecticut ready for next reopening phase
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut is currently in good shape for the next round of business re-openings scheduled for this week, given the slowing COVID-19 infection and death rates, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday.
The Democrat said the state’s rate of infection, about 2%, is among the “best five or six states in the country” and that “tells us we’re ready to do our next phase of the reopening on Wednesday.”
That’s when indoor dining, lodging, outdoor amusement parks, libraries, tattoo parlors, nail salons, gyms, pools, bowling alleys, museums, zoos, aquariums, and movie theaters will be allowed to open at limited capacities. Certain smaller outdoor events will also be allowed. A third reopening is planned in July. Lamont said that’s when bars may reopen, as well as indoor events.
Businesses are required to “self-certify” with the state before opening on Wednesday, showing they understand and will comply with the state’s COVID-19 rules and regulations. It can be done online at business.ct.gov/recovery. After completing the certification process, companies are encouraged to download signs and a badge to display at the business or on a website.
As of Monday, there have been more than 45,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 147 positive tests since Sunday. To date, there have been 4,204 COVID-associated deaths, three more since Sunday. The number of hospitalizations continues to decline. There are now 203, a drop of two since Sunday.
Testing continues to increase. So far, 354,445 tests have been performed, an increase of 7,255 since Sunday.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or lead to death.
In other coronavirus news in Connecticut:
Hartford HealthCare, one of the state’s largest health care systems, has begun easing some visitor restrictions at its hospitals and outpatient facilities across Connecticut now that there are fewer patients being treated for COVID-19.
In an email sent Monday, the system said one visitor will be allowed at a time and visitors must be age 16 or older, wear face masks, pass a screening for symptoms and maintain physical distancing while inside the hospital.
“Restricting visitors was one of the very first — and one of the most difficult — decisions we made to stop the spread of the virus and protect our patients, colleagues and communities,” the email from the health care system’s leaders said. “Now, with fewer patients hospitalized due to COVID-19, and screening processes well in place for anyone entering our healthcare facilities, we are confident we can safely phase in visitation across our system of care.”
Visiting hours will vary by facility and program. There will still be some restrictions on visiting at emergency departments as well as critical and intensive care units and in oncology areas including infusion centers, medical oncology and radiation oncology.