The cities of Norwich and New London will remain in the current phase of reopening, Phase 3, amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Currently under COVID Alerts and experiencing the highest daily case rates in the state, Norwich and New London both meet the established criteria under the executive order. However, based on how the virus is spreading in both cities, local leaders have made the decision to stay at phase three.
"In consultation with our staff and Ledge Light Health District, our city’s health department, we have closely considered our current rate of COVID-19 infections and the information obtained through contact tracing," Mayor Michael Passero wrote in a press release. "These efforts have not revealed evidence of significant numbers of COVID-19 transmissions associated with restaurants, churches or retail venues at this time."
Passero said that the majority of their cases are being traced back to family and social gatherings as well as sports-related activities.
The City of Norwich made the same decision late Wednesday afternoon based on the same criteria.
According to Mayor Peter Nystrom, the cases in Norwich are not being traced back to venues or restaurants that would be affected by rolling back to phase two.
"The infection rate is happening in the family structure and, basically, friend structure," said Nystrom. "Twenty, 30 people in a backyard, that is where the risk really is. That is what we are looking at and I am trying to discourage that right now."
Both cities are asking residents to get tested for the virus and to double down on safety precautions.
For more information on testing happening in the Norwich region, click here.
For more information on testing happening in the New London region, click here.