Gov. Lamont Orders Non-Essential Businesses Closed; Urges Residents to Stay Home

Lamont is issuing an executive order to slow the growth of coronavirus in Connecticut and allow for as many available hospital beds as possible

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Governor Ned Lamont is signing an executive order as part of a new campaign called "Stay Safe, Stay at Home" that will require non-essential businesses to close.
  • The order will take effect at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23.
  • A number of exemptions of essential services will be laid out in the coming days, but will include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, ongoing major construction projects and defense industry manufacturing.

Connecticut residents are being urged to stay home as Governor Ned Lamont plans to order all non-essential businesses closed to slow the spread of coronavirus in Connecticut.

Lamont is expected to sign an order under a new "Stay Safe, Stay at Home" campaign."

All non-essential businesses will need to have employees work from home, the governor said.

"Those retail stores that are non-essential, do not open," he said.

Businesses that don't comply could face civil fines, Lamont said.

The closures will take effect at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23 and could last for weeks, he said.

"This is tough medicine," the governor said. "I think its right the medicine."

On Saturday, a long line of customers lined up around the building at Hoffman's Gun Center in Newington, hoping to buy a gun or ammunition before non-essential businesses close on Monday.

New "Stay Safe, Stay At Home" Executive Order

Residents will still be allowed to leave their home for critical services.

"All of the direct and indirect services that are critical to helping battle COVID-19 and keeping our economy moving as much as possible" will be exempt, said Josh Geballe, the state's chief's operating officer.

Exemptions from the order, according to Lamont and Gabelle, will likely include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Take out and delivery food service
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Major construction projects already underway
  • Major defense manufacturing facilities
  • Public transportation
  • Childcare services
  • Auto repair stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Package stores
  • Banks/Financial institutions

Commissioner David Lehman of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will be the one to lay out which businesses and industries are exempt from the order. Those specifics are expected over the weekend once the exact text of the order is released. The above list is only what is expected.

Workers who do work at these essential business are being asked to self-monitor their temperature for a fever, Lamont said. Those workers are being asked to also avoid large gatherings or social activities after work.

Fourth Person in Connecticut Dies From COVID-19

A fourth person in Connecticut has died of coronavirus, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

The state now has 194 confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout all eight counties, Gov. Lamont said.

That number jumped from 159, and New London county has now seen its first case.

Here is how the cases break down by county:

  • Fairfield County: 122
  • Hartford County: 29
  • Litchfield County: 8
  • Middlesex County: 5
  • New Haven County: 23
  • New London County: 1
  • Tolland County: 4
  • Windham County: 2

All four of the patients who died were in Fairfield County, according to Lamont.

State Seeking Medical Equipment and Supplies

Lamont said he is worried about the supply of personal protective equipment and medical supplies in the state going forward. As a result, the governor is asking any companies that may have extra masks or ventilators to come forward. The state is looking to buy those surplus supplies.

"We'll pay top price," Lamont said.

Lamont said individual residents should not worry about punishment from the "Stay Safe, Stay at Home" order, but rather focus on doing what's right.

"Look, if you're on your way to Pratt & Whitney, you're not going to get pulled over by a police officer unless you're going 75 miles an hour," the governor said. "When I talked there's no fines for individuals. We're going to work on this on a community by community basis."

A mother and two of her adult children who work at Connecticut's casinos are in flux after the resorts shut down.

Unemployment Claims Rise

Also on Friday, the state Department of Labor announced it received more than 72,000 unemployment claims since March 13, with 16,000 coming on March 20.

The state said 2,500 claims is typical for a week.

"We are continuing to shift resources to devote more staff to processing of new claims," the Department of Labor said in a statement. In addition, Lamont has authorized the use of overtime to assist.

Daily COVID-19 Testing Increases

Lamont said the number of tests being done in the state have improved, going from around 20 to 1,000 per day with many of them being analyzed right here in Connecticut.

"We're going to have more testing, and more accurate and faster responses every day for the next three months," the governor said.

Contact Us