Lamont Details Criteria to Open Some Businesses on May 20

Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday detailed some of the criteria for reopening the state of Connecticut recommended by the advisory board he established to look into it.

The top of the list was a a key metric he has discussed for several weeks - a 14-day decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut. The state saw its eighth straight day of a net decline in hospitalizations, Lamont said.

The full list of criteria included:

  • 14-day decline of hospitalizations
  • Increased testing available
  • Sufficient contact tracing capacity
  • Protect high-risk populations
  • Adequate healthcare capacity
  • Adequate supply of PPE
  • Appropriate physical distancing regulations.

Lamont said he would look to open business by their ability to meet certain health risk assessments. Those businesses which can meet them will open first.

He has used May 20 as a possible date to reopen some businesses, and on Thursday, he reiterated that date.

"May 20th is an important date for us," Lamont said.

If the reopening criteria are met, Lamont laid out details on a number of businesses that could open with certain conditions on May 20.

They include:

  • Restaurants (outdoor only - no bar areas)
  • Remaining retail
  • Offices (continue work from home where possible)
  • Personal services (hair & nail only)
  • Museums, Zoos (outdoor only)
  • Additional outdoor recreation (e.g., camping, mountain biking)
  • University research programs

The industries listed make up about 30-percent of the unemployment claims the state has received, according to Josh Geballe, chief operating officer for the State of Connecticut.

The reopening plan consists of four phases. Each phase will ease restrictions or open businesses based on how social distancing and the other health risk assessments can be managed.

Businesses such as the casinos and professional sports teams would open at later dates, according to Lamont.

"Those places where it's tough to social distance, those places where you have a big crowd, I think are a little bit tougher to make sure we keep this virus under control," Lamont said.

The advisory board has been in contact with the casinos, according to former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, co-chair of the board.

"We have talked to the casino people and they have a sensible plan that they are developing to socially distance and not have too many people together when they play bingo and games like that," Nooyi said.

She said it's too early to ask about a date when such high-contact venues could reopen.

"This could be a prime outbreak spot if we don't manage it very, very carefully," Nooyi said.

Schools were not mentioned as part of the May 20 reopening plan. Lamont said he will release details on Connecticut's schools next week.

Coronavirus Numbers in Connecticut

The net number of hospitalizations in Connecticut dropped by 41 to 1,650 on Thursday.

The number of COVID-19 cases rose by 933, bringing the total to 27,700. New coronavirus-related deaths climbed by 89. The death toll now stands at 2,257.

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