HARTFORD, Conn — Governor Ned Lamont said in a news briefing Monday afternoon that he was issuing an order limit gatherings at restaurants, theaters, religious gatherings to stem rise in COVID-19 cases starting Friday.
His 4 p.m. announcement comes after he reported the state's infection rate was at 3.4% over the weekend.
Earlier last week, the positivity rate had soared to 6.1%.
The numbers released Monday, 79,066 tests were administered and 2,651 came back positive (3.4% positivity rate), 340 patients are hospitalized (increase of 11)
There were 11 COVID-related deaths.
Lamont said they were recommending that people stay home from 9:30 PM. TO 5 AM.
Lamont said they were making the moves in concert with Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
He said the goal was to stay ahead of the curve with the modified Phase 2 goals in order to slow community spread, protect healthcare, keep schools and day care centers, and minimize economic impact.
“Given the serious and sustained increase in coronavirus transmission, Governor Lamont’s decision to move back to a modified version of Phase 2 on a statewide basis is the right way to respond, rather than leaving a patchwork of local restrictions,” said Mayor Bronin. “In a state as small as Connecticut, what happens in any community affects every other community, and we need to work together to contain this spread because we’ve seen what happens when we get to a level of uncontrolled transmission. Governor Lamont and his team have stayed laser focused on allowing kids to be in school as much as possible and reopening the economy responsibly, and sometimes that means taking two steps forward and one step back. I appreciate his willingness to make the tough decisions, and also appreciate his team’s willingness to stay in constant communication and coordination with local officials.”
The major changes that will occur under Phase 2.1 include:
- Restaurants will reduce to 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table;
- Restaurants and entertainment venues (i.e. bowling allies, movie theaters, arcades, etc.) will be required to close by 9:30 p.m., with the exception of food takeout and delivery services, which will be allowed to continue after 9:30 p.m.;
- Personal services, such as hair salons and barber shops, will remain at 75 percent capacity;
- Event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor;
- Performing arts venues and movie theaters will have a capacity of 100 people; and
- Religious gatherings will be limited to 50 percent capacity or 100 people maximum.
Employers are reminded to maximize telework to the extent possible, and those over 60 and with chronic conditions are urged to remain home as much as possible.
CT Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch, "One area of immediate focus for that work will be adjusting today’s announcement to allow restaurants to operate later than 9:30PM and providing them the same level of aid that these other states are offering restaurants in need. In making today’s announcement, the Governor noted that other states are using a similar closing time, but failed to mention that those states also have small business grant programs that dwarf what Connecticut is currently offering. Given the nature of our businesses, putting a hard stop on their ability to serve customers after 9:30PM and not offering new options for grants or forgivable loans will be the final straw for many Connecticut small businesses already just barely keeping their doors open."
As more towns moved into the red zone with COVID-19 infections, Gov. Lamont said the positivity rate was a "gut punch."
Additionally, three more states were added to Connecticut's Travel Advisory list last week.
California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania were all added to the list due to their COVID-19 cases. With these states, there are now 42 other states and territories listed. Anyone traveling from these states to CT must quarantine for 14 days.
On October 30, Massachusetts removed Connecticut from the DPH's lower risk state list for its travel order. Travelers from CT arriving into Mass. must fill out a form, quarantine for two weeks, or produce a negative test. The order goes into effect at 12:01 AM on October 31.