reopening connecticut

‘What’s On Your Mind?’: When to Reopen CT Businesses

NBC Universal, Inc.

Gov. Ned Lamont has targeted May 20 as a possible date to reopen some Connecticut businesses. Is that too soon or not soon enough?

NBC Connecticut has heard from hundreds of callers sharing what they and their families are dealing with amid the coronavirus crisis.

What's On Your Mind? Call us at (860) 880-2844.

“If we do this too soon, it’s all just going to come back around and bite us,” said Laura, who lives in New Preston.

If we do this too soon, it’s all just going to come back around and bite us.

Laura, of New Preston

Some callers told us that a return to "normal" should happen immediately.

“I’m ready to get back to work,” said Billy from Ellington. “This is getting tired. Let ‘er rip.”

“I’m a self-employed hairdresser and we are trying to survive this with absolutely no money of any kind,” said Sarah, who resides in Torrington.

I’m a self-employed hairdresser and we are trying to survive this with absolutely no money of any kind.

Sarah, of Torrington

“Small business guys, we’re suffering real hard here and they need to go ahead and open this back up. It’s time,” said a business owner from Norwich, who declined to provide his name.

Many other callers worried that reopening businesses too soon poses great health risks.

“We really need to be careful and prudent and considerate of everybody’s health; our health and the people around us,” Olivia said. She lives in Torrington.

“I don’t think it’s worth it,” said Anthony, from Waterbury. “I’d rather be six foot above the ground than six foot under the ground.”

“We need to start to very slowly but successfully ease our way back into society and get things back to normal,” said Paul, from New Britain.

Mack, from Berlin, who said he is in his 70s, called with his perspective.

“I never thought I would be more terrified to go to the grocery store then what I was doing fifty years ago; serving my country in Vietnam,” he said. “I think that says it all.”

I never thought I would be more terrified to go to the grocery store then what I was doing fifty years ago; serving my country in Vietnam.

Mack, from Berlin

“Before the coronavirus, we were all doing pretty darn good,” said Diana, who is from Middletown. “And now, it’s all gone, and I hope this terrible plague changes us all for the better."

Plan to Reopen Connecticut

Gov. Lamont last week detailed some of the criteria for reopening the state of Connecticut recommended by the advisory board he established to look into it.

The top of the list was a key metric he has discussed for several weeks - a 14-day decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut.

The full list of criteria included:

  • 14-day decline of hospitalizations
  • Increased testing available
  • Sufficient contact tracing capacity
  • Protect high-risk populations
  • Adequate healthcare capacity
  • Adequate supply of PPE ( personal protective equipment)
  • Appropriate physical distancing regulations.

Lamont said he would look to open businesses by their ability to meet certain health risk assessments. Those businesses than can meet them will open first.

If the reopening criteria are met, Lamont laid out details on a number of businesses that could open with certain conditions on May 20.

They include:

  • Restaurants (outdoor only - no bar areas)
  • Remaining retail
  • Offices (continue work from home where possible)
  • Personal services (hair and nail only)
  • Museums, zoos (outdoor only)
  • Additional outdoor recreation (e.g., camping, mountain biking)
  • University research programs

The reopening plan consists of four phases. Each phase will ease restrictions or open businesses based on how social distancing and the other health risk assessments can be managed.

Businesses such as the casinos and professional sports teams would open at later dates, according to Lamont.

What's On Your Mind?

NBC Connecticut wants to know more about how you and your family are getting through this.

What's On Your Mind? Call us at (860) 880-2844.

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