Windham Rolls Back To Phase 2, Schools Going to All Virtual Amid COVID-19 Concerns

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, rules have affected the entire state. But now, amid flareups, some community are being allowed to put in place stricter regulations and at least one has already done so.

On Saturday, Windham became the first community in the state to roll back to Phase 2 from Phase 3.

“I think it’s unfortunate but I think it’s something that needs to happen especially as we go into the colder months and flu season is coming around. I think it’s important and I think it’s going to keep a lot more people safe,” said Holly Decker of Windham.

Windham is among 11 towns and cities in the state falling under a new red alert level. That means daily COVID-19 cases are 15 or higher per 100,000 people.

“Tailoring interventions to the local level really makes sense,” said Dr. Albert Ko, a Yale professor and a leader of the governor’s reopening advisory group, who talked about the issue on this weekend’s Face the Facts with NBC Connecticut.

Phase three of reopening Connecticut started this week as 11 COVID-19 hot spots were identified throughout the state. Mike Hydeck discusses this and more in this week's Face the Facts.

People in hot spots are urged to limit gatherings and trips away from home.

Community activities are suggested to be scaled back.

And town or city leaders can decide to return their area to Phase 2, with reduced capacity at indoor dining, performing arts, religious and social gatherings.

“I think it’s really giving the responsibility to the local health officials, you know, and the local governments to really control their epidemic is really important. They’re the major players in the fight against COVID,” said Ko.

Also, parents, students and teachers are preparing to switch from hybrid classes to all virtual on Monday as coronavirus cases surge in Windham.

“I have two children that go to school. So I get nervous,” said Evelyn Ayala of Willimantic. “They didn’t want to go back because they’re nervous.”

In a letter to school members, the superintendent called the move “the best decision for the health of the community” and said they will stick with distance learning for at least the rest of the month.

The school district said next Thursday it will review the health data again and then decide the plan for classes starting in November.

Although the district has had 15 cases since reopening in August, it points out that overall the virus is not being spread in the schools.

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