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COVID-19 infection rate under 5% after reopening; beach, swimming guidelines unveiled for Memorial Day weekend

DEEP's commissioner provided details on swimming restrictions unveiled for Memorial Day weekend

HEBRON, Conn — Governor Ned Lamont provided updates Thursday morning on Connecticut’s coronavirus response efforts.

According to Lamont, the state's current infection rate remains below 5 percent as we head into the second day of phase one reopening.  

In his Thursday report, the governor also released the latest coronavirus numbers in Connecticut.

Hospitalizations continue to trend downward in the state, as 71 less people are being treated. A total of 816 people are hospitalized.

"Today was the best day we've had in two months," Lamont said.

191 new cases were reported, bringing the state's total to 39,208 cases.

3,582 total people have died, which was an increase of 53 since Wednesday and overall, 196,447 tests have been administered to date.

Lamont was joined by Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes.

Dykes provided details on DEEP's new operational plan that was released this week outlining guidelines for the operation and use of state park grounds, trails, beaches, boat launches and other areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you're looking for an outdoors location to spend the day, Commisioner Dykes announced DEEP has launched a website that provides information on the status of beaches and swim areas.

Click here to plan ahead >> https://portal.ct.gov/whatsopenoutdoors 

RELATED: DEEP releases safety plans heading into the summer; camping, beaches, & state parks

With phase one officially also launched and underway, Gov. Lamont is now looking to move forward, as the next round of opening includes more businesses, and educational services.

Connecticut's phase two is tentatively set for June 20th and phase three, could follow four weeks after, according to Lamont.

At his daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday afternoon, the governor laid out a potential plan the the second phase.

The sectors that could possibly reopen in a month include:

  • Accommodation (hotels)
  • Gym, fitness & sports clubs
  • All personal services including nail salons
  • Outdoor arts, entertainment and events (up to 50 people)
  • Movie theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Social clubs, pools
  • All museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Restaurants (indoor, no bar)

RELATED: Gov. Lamont lays out possible Phase 2 plan for June 20th

Phase two will also allow certain aspects of education and community services to open including:

  • Selected youth camps (June 20)
  • All summer day camps (June 22)
  • Public libraries (June 20)
  • Nonresidential workforce programs (mid-June)
  • Nonresidential clinical/laboratory courses (mid-June)
  • K-12 summer school (July 6)
  • Other nonresidential programs (July/August)
  • Graduate programs (July/August)
  • Undergraduate residential small-scale pilot programs (July/Aug)

RELATED: DEEP releases safety plans heading into the summer; camping, beaches, & state parks

According to Lamont, phase three is currently set to launch at least four weeks after phase two. It would allow the following to open:

  • Bars
  • Indoor event spaces & venues
  • Indoor amusement parks & arcades
  • Outdoor events (up to 100 people)

Gov. Lamont also discussed Thursday his continues concerns about Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun reopening as part of phase one.

The state's federally recognized tribes announced Wedneday they will begin reopening portions of their reservations on June 1, despite requests from state leadership to remain closed.

Following the announcement, Gov. Lamont said he need to talk to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribes again.

"I think that's incredible risk. It's risky for the people that work at casinos. It's risky for people that go to the casinos. It's risky for the region because you have a lot of employees that go back out into the region…It' an enclosed area. A lot of older people are in there - some of them with pre-existing conditions. Alcohol and food is involved. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we put public health first." 

RELATED: Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods to begin reopening June 1 with safety guidelines in place