The reopening of Connecticut after the coronavirus pandemic closed non-essential businesses in March likely won't come until June at the earliest and will take months to complete, a key member of Gov. Ned Lamont's Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group said Thursday.
There are 631 new coronavirus cases in Connecticut since Wednesday and 95 new deaths, according to Lamont.
That brings the total number of cases to 23,100 and the death toll now stands at 1,639 in the state.
The net number of hospitalizations was down in Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties, Lamont said.
The advisory board formed to study how and when Connecticut can safely reopen the economy identified four segments to focus on over the next few months.
Those include public health, economic impact, education, and community support.
"Keeping public health issues in mind, how do we dial up the other three gears?" advisory board co-chair Indra Nooyi said. "How do we get the other levels of business working again? How do we get colleges, universities, and schools back functioning later on this month, or later on in May, or in September whenever we can? And then how do we protect our most vulnerable through it all? That's the community support."
It also appears Gov. Lamont's plan to reopen parts of the state by May 20 may be pushed back.
Nooyi said Thursday that May 20 date is not a reopening date but a date that they will have a reopening plan to present to the governor.
She said a gradual reopening is more likely in June and would continue through the rest of the year. “I’m as anxious to reopen our economy and get back to business as usual as everyone else, but if we don’t do this in a thoughtful way, all of our efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus to date will have been worthless,” Lamont said. “The actions we’ve taken so far in Connecticut, while painstaking, have been helping to slow down its spread. The steadily slowing rate of hospitalizations shows that what we’ve done so far is having an impact, but we are not out of the woods yet.
Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group Members
The members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group include:
Main Advisory Group
· (Co-Chair) Indra Nooyi: Board co-chair of AdvanceCT; former CEO of PepsiCo
· (Co-Chair) Dr. Albert Ko: Professor of epidemiology and medicine and department chair at the Yale School of Public Health
· Oni Chukwu: Executive chairman of Aventri
· Alex Karnal: Partner and managing director of Deerfield; co-founder and board member of The Institute for Life Changing Medicines
· Dr. Mehmood Khan: CEO and board member of Life Biosciences, Inc.
· Dr. Harlan Krumholz: Cardiologist and health care researcher at Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital
· Dr. Charles Lee: Scientific director and professor at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
· David Scheer: President of Scheer & Company, Inc.; board chair of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals
· (Chair) Oni Chukwu: Executive chairman of Aventri
· Joe Brennan: President and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association
· Rodney Butler: Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
· Peter Denious: President and CEO of AdvanceCT
· Howard Hill: Owner of Howard K. Hill Funeral Services
· Roberta Hoskie: President and CEO of Outreach Realty Services
· Steve Matiatos: President of the Connecticut Lodging Association
· Dan Meiser: Chairman of the Connecticut Restaurant Association
· John Olsen: President Emeritus of the Connecticut AFL-CIO
· Fran Pastore: President and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council
· Timothy Phelan: President of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association
· Meredith Reuben: CEO of EBP Supply Solutions
· David Roche: President of the Connecticut Building Trades
· Garrett Sheehan: President and CEO of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
· Pedro Soto: President and CEO of Hygrade Precision Technologies
· (Chair) Marcella Nunez Smith: Director of Equity Research and Innovation at the Yale School of Medicine
· Marie Allen: Executive Director of the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging and Independent Living
· Dr. Ken Alleyne: Vice Chair of the Connecticut Health Foundation
· Nora Duncan: State Director of Connecticut AARP
· Rochelle Palache: Assistant District Leader for SEIU, Local 32BJ
· Daria Smith: Executive Director of the Connecticut State Independent Living Council
· (Co-Chair) Rick Levin: Former President of Yale University
· (Co-Chair) Linda Lorimer: Former Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives at Yale University
· Rick Branson: Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
· Jan Hochadel: President of AFT Connecticut
· Steve Kaplan: President of the University of New Haven
· Alice Pritchard: Chief of Staff to the President of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
· Rachel Rubin: Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Connecticut
· Jen Widness: President of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges
· Donald Williams, Jr.: Executive Director of the Connecticut Education Association
Governor Lamont's Representatives
· Paul Mounds: Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor
· Josh Geballe: Chief Operating Officer for the Office of the Governor and Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services
· Renée Coleman-Mitchell: Commissioner of the Department of Public Health
· Dr. Matthew Cartter: State Epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health
· Miguel Cardona: Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education (Also co-chair of the Education Committee)
· Beth Bye: Commissioner of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (Also member of the Education Committee)
· Deidre Gifford: Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services (Also member of the Community Committee)
· Amy Porter: Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services (Also member of the Community Committee)
· Jordan Scheff: Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (Also member of the Community Committee)
· David Lehman: Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (Also member of the Business Committee)