Conn. Gov.: Still One to Two Weeks More of Escalating Coronavirus Infections; Cases Spike to 618

Lamont said there is no consideration being given right now to shutting down the state's borders or releasing any prisoners early

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Cases of coronavirus spiked on Tuesday with more than 200 new cases reported in the state, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

That brings the state's total cases to 618. It's the largest single-day jump since the crisis began.

The jump in cases was not due to increased testing, Lamont said.

The governor said we still have some time to go before we reach peak infections.

"I'm afraid this is going to continue for at least another week, two weeks, in terms of escalating the number of infections," Lamont said.

Two more people have died of COVID-19-related complications, bringing the total to 12, according to Lamont.

Ten of those who have died were over the age of 80, Lamont said.

Lamont: Not Closing Borders Now

The governor said there is no consideration being given to shutting down the state's borders.

"I've heard a lot of the rumors, shutting down borders, shutting down roads," Lamont said. "Right now, that's not an option."

President Donald Trump addressed the media on Tuesday at the White House and reiterated that he hopes the country will reopen by Easter.

No Early Release For Inmates

Lamont also said right now, he's not considering releasing any nonviolent inmates early who may be towards the end of their prison term, like New Jersey just announced.

"We do have extra capacity in our correctional facilities right now," Lamont said. "We are going to do everything we can to make sure anybody who may be at risk of being a carrier is segregated and quarantined in a separate area and that's going to be my priority before we have to think about releasing anybody."

When Can Businesses Reopen?

Lamont ordered all non-essential businesses in the state to close by 8 p.m. Monday. You can see a list of what the state considers essential businesses here.

"Perhaps on the backside of this, I don't know when that is, we can do some testing so folks could be fever tested," Lamont said. "Maybe the younger folks could get back to work sooner. We don't have a date on that."

Local chefs and restaurateurs are navigating the new era under the coronavirus outbreak and trying to figure out how to still serve customers.

Schools Closed Through At Least April 20

On Monday, Lamont said he is ordering all schools remain closed until at least April 20. In an interview Tuesday, the governor said schools will likely stay closed until the fall. He originally had ordered that schools stay closed through March 31.

Insurance Grace Periods Requested

The governor and the state's insurance commissioner both requested insurers support the state's residents during this crisis.

The commissioner, Andrew Mais, requested insurers extend a 60-day grace period on premium payments during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the governor said he wants to make sure that unemployed residents receive coverage.

Concern Over Construction Projects

Some construction sites have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic. Lamont said some of those larger, outdoor projects are necessary but smaller, indoor projects should close.

"We're going to watch that carefully," Lamont said. "Obviously, the big outside construction projects are a real priority, whether they're doing the Charter Oak Bridge or two or three schools. Big projects that have a duration to them, we want to get them up and operating, ready to go on schedule."

Lamont said not all construction projects are considered equal.

"Some of them are smaller, some of them are tighter," he said. "I can only prescribe so much and probably I ought to prescribe that. In the meantime, I just urge people, use your damn common sense will ya. If there are five people packed into the place working, go home."

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