Connecticut doctors issue letter to governor urging for another state shutdown as COVID cases surge


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — With COVID cases surging, a number of doctors have been vocal about another state shutdown. A letter was sent to Governor Ned Lamont urging him to consider their plea as the hospital system becomes under increased stress.

Although it’s still very early in the second wave of the pandemic, health care professionals across the state are already feeling the pressure of a surge. They are hoping Lamont considers them as they work to save countless lives.

In a letter signed off on by a number of health care professionals from across Connecticut, they are calling on the governor to shutdown indoor dining and gyms again as a way to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The letter reads:

Based on what we know about the epidemiology of COVID-19, we are confident that a decision to close indoor dining and gyms and ban all other unnecessary public gatherings would protect our citizens from this lethal disease, keep our hospitals and caregivers from becoming overwhelmed, and save lives.”

Even though it is still early in the second wave, we are already spilling outside our ICUs, calling for extra volunteers, and we are exhausting the supply of advance-practice nurses and medical residents who help us provide the best possible care.

The governor is not showing any indication that he will issue another order shutting some businesses down. In a conversation with the Connecticut Mirror, he insisted the spike is not from restaurants, but from private social interactions.

“You got to think about what the ramifications are and will it make a difference.” He added, “I think with dining at a restaurant, you have to take off the mask and eat. That seems risky, but with that said, our track and trace programs are following this carefully.”

The Office of Governor Ned Lamont issued a statement Wednesday night:

“Gov. Lamont and his administration continue to monitor all key metrics when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. Medical professionals have been the heroes of Connecticut throughout this pandemic, and they are the reason our residents have been in such good hands since day one. The Governor has already scaled back the reopening of the state with additional recent steps to enhance enforcement of public health rules.

Those steps are consistent with the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci who has said to keep bars closed, and work to keep schools open, moves Connecticut has made. Our state continues to have some of the most restrictions in the country designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the Governor has made it clear he is prepared to take additional steps to protect Connecticut residents. Connecticut continues to find the right balance with an emphasis on public health, and our doctors and nurses have a place at the head of the table as we manage our way through this pandemic”

“The gyms are important for the mental health, and I hear that everywhere I go, and they are at 25 percent capacity; you gotta wear a mask.”

Doctor Ajay Kumar with Hartford HealthCare sides with the governor, saying it all comes down to personal convictions.

“We need to think about the fact that the virus will be with us for several more months and we need to find the right balance to live with that and manage it appropriately. It’s about social responsibility. We have to be careful in practicing social distancing, appropriate discipline in our personal lives.”

Another note in that letter addressed to the governor: These health care professionals said they will work tirelessly to save every life that they can, but they want those in leadership to know what they are up against.

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