HARTFORD, Conn — Governor Ned Lamont told FOX61 he believed the launch of phase one in Connecticut's reopening plan was a success.
"To me, successful was people having faith that we'd taken care of the public health aspects. That we say it's okay to go to a restaurant outside - they understood that it was safe. People are tiptoeing back in. I haven't heard of a lot of defiance out there. People feel like we're on the right track, and I appreciate that," Governor Lamont told FOX61's Zinnia Maldonado during Wednesday's press briefing.
With phase one officially underway May 20th, Governor Ned Lamont is now looking toward phase two, which is tentatively set for June 20th, and phase three, which could follow four weeks after.
Governor Lamont laid out the sectors that could possibly reopen in a month. They 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)
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)
According to Governor Lamont, there are five criteria set that will allow the state to progress to phase 2. They include:
Declining transmission: <100 bed net increase in hospitalizations in last week of phase 1
Governor Lamont said this is "important in terms of trends and in terms of capacity."
Testing and contact tracing: 100,000 tests a week; 50% completed contact tracing within 48 hours
In terms of testing, Governor Lamont is confident in where the state stands and said it would be a key metric going forward. He said, "That means not only testing of asymptomatic, and symptomatic and he most vulnerable…but then more broadly to the general population."
Business & social safeguards: Rules and regulations disseminated two weeks prior to phase two reopening.
Governor Lamont said like with phase one, he'd like to work closely with industries to help them develop guidelines.
- Protection for the vulnerable: testing plan for key workers and priority high-risk communities implemented
- Health care capacity: <20% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients amongst total peak COVID-19 bed capacity
Phase three was also revealed during Wednesday's briefing, which would come at least four weeks after phase two. It would allow the following to open:
- Indoor event spaces & venues
- Indoor amusement parks & arcades
- Outdoor events (up to 100 people)
As for hair salons and barbershops, those are still considered part of phase one, but those businesses will have to wait 10 days to reopen. Governor Lamont did have words those defying orders ahead of June 1st.
"Do the right thing. I can talk about enforcement. I can talk about municipal police. I can talk about citations. Do the right thing. It's the right thing for your community. I didn't really appreciate seeing elected officials egging people on to break the laws and break the rules. I think we've got to stick together on this like I said before," Governor Lamont said. "I've been looking around the country. I've seen some of the enforcement things they've had to do with people trying to break the rules or saying I'm above the law - that's not how our state works."
When it comes to customers who don’t comply with safety regulations, Josh Geballe, the Chief Operating Officer for the Governor's Office, said service can be refused.
"This is the COVID-era equivalent of no shirt, no shoes, no service. If you don't wear a mask, businesses have the right to refuse service," Geballe said. "If there are issues that are observed, if there are compliance issues that people are concerned about - work with your local police departments or local elected officials who are enabled through the Governor's recent executive order to ensure rules are being followed in their municipalities."
Governor Lamont also addressed recent announcements from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, which said they would reopen June 1st with safety guidelines in place.
When asked for comment Governor Lamont said, "We've got to talk again. I think that's incredibly 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."
Governor Lamont added he would be talking with regional governors on creating a strategy to open up casinos at the same time to prevent people from traveling across state lines.
"I understand the incredible distress that the casinos are in - in terms of their economic need, but I also know about the public health issues. So, we're going to work this out," Governor Lamont said.