Windham has notified the state it will roll back to Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions as the town is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, according to the town manager.
Windham is one of 11 municipalities in Connecticut that has been placed into a COVID-19 "Red Alert" designation. Towns that fall in that category are experiencing at least 15 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents.
“We have struggled with this decision over the last few weeks, but my emergency team and town council members that I have polled -- we all feel that this is the right thing to do, to take a leadership role and make sure we are setting an example, not only for our own community, but for the state -- that if the numbers go up, you’ve got to do something,” said Jim Rivers, Windham's town manager.
The cases seem to be spread throughout the town and not concentrated in one area, according to Rivers.
The new Phase 2 restrictions go into effect at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Windham schools will transition from their hybrid plan to full virtual learning for two weeks, according to Superintendent Tracy Youngberg. The virtual learning will begin on Monday.
"After consultation with the North Central District Health Department (NCDHD), the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Board of Education, and the Windham Town Manager, I believe this is the best decision for the health of our community,” Youngberg said in a letter to parents on Friday.
Connecticut only moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Oct.8, which eased some restrictions, such as increasing capacity at restaurants and houses of worship.
But the state has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks and Gov. Ned Lamont made the decision to give municipalities that fall under the "Red Alert" designation to make a choice to roll back to Phase 2 restrictions if necessary.
Residents in COVID-19 "Red Alert" areas are asked to limit trips outside their homes and avoid gatherings with non-family members. Communities will be asked to cancel public events and limit community gathering points. In addition, the state recommends postponing all indoor activities in those "Red Alert" locations.
In addition to Windham, municipalities that currently fall under the "Red Alert" status are:
- East Lyme
- New London