CT Phase 3 reopening still on track, indoor dining to be expanded despite rise in COVID-19 infection rates

Connecticut

(WTNH) — Everything in our world right now has to be considered ‘fluid’, but Phase 3 of Connecticut’s reopening plan is still slated to being this Thursday, Oct. 8 even amid rising COVID-19 rates in the state.

Governor Ned Lamont says he’s not thinking about tapping the brakes on any aspect of Phase 3 even though positive cases of the virus in the state have been rising in recent weeks.

“I’m still thinking 1.6% is one of the lowest infection rates in the country. But, as I’ve said on many occasions if we see a big change, we’re not afraid to change strategies,” the governor said.

Phase 3 means, among other things, an increase from 50% to 75% capacity indoors for restaurants and personal services. Also, in Phase 3, bars and nightclubs remain on the outside looking in.

“I think about restaurants, I see they have not been the accelerant that we think bars have been, for example, as we look around the state, especially in and around college towns,” Gov. Lamont said.

If restaurant owners could place an order, it would be for mild temperatures conducive to outdoor dining for as long as possible.

Monday, the governor was asked if he is comfortable dining indoors: “If I could be outside, I’m going to be outside as long as I can… Look I’ll get there, I think so. Like I said, I’ve been pretty impressed with restaurateurs. I’ve seen how careful they are, I see how careful they are about distancing. I’ll probably look in. I’d like to see those plastic partitions. That would give me a little bit of confidence.”

At the governor’s press conference Monday, the topic turned to coronavirus testing. The governor said, up until the present, he’s been testing every two-three weeks. In light of President Donald Trump contracting the virus, Gov. Lamont said he and his staff will be tested twice a week going forward.

“We saw it was a weekend where the president and Mrs. Trump were found to be infected. [Trump aid] Hope Hicks, [New England Patriots’] Cam Newton, and figured this is a good time to err on the side of caution. We’ve also decided everyone in the governor’s office is gonna be testing on a regular basis. I think twice a week.”

Right now, Hartford County is seeing the highest number of hospitalizations (some 41 people). Behind that is New London, New Haven, and Fairfield Counties.

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