HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — There are now 19 cities and towns in Connecticut that are considered “Red Alert towns” after their daily rates of new COVID-19 infections grew.
That’s eight more communities since last week. Many are located in southeastern Connecticut. But, Fairfield, Waterbury and East Hartford were also added to the list, while Preston and East Lyme were removed.
Their daily rates surpassed 15 infections per 100,000 people.
The communities now have the option of rolling back to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, but so far, only one town, Windham, has opted to do so.
Governor Ned Lamont said Danbury, Norwich and New London are still on the list, but their numbers are starting to go down.
“Limit your meetings with nonfamily members, those you’re not very close to,” he said. “We got the holiday season coming up. Especially in these Red Alert areas where there’s real community spread, a special time to be very careful.”
Residents in those communities are also being urged to wear masks, socially distance, frequently wash their hands, stay home if they’re over 65, cancel gatherings and events with nonrelatives and get tested regularly, even if they’re healthy.
The latest list includes:
- East Hartford
- New London
News 8 spoke with residents in East Hartford on Friday, who said the news was frightening.
“It’s very scary, at my age, 72,” said Wayne Tracey. “And I’m worried about my grandkids. We’re talking already about how to handle Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Tracey said he’s also worried about how local businesses, like his beloved barbershop, Johnny’s Barber Shop, will handle the uptick.
But, with 50 years of experience, John (Johnny) D’Agostino takes everything in stride.
“It affects a little bit, you know, people afraid to come out,” he said.
Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc told News 8 she feels there should be a regional approach to handling this.
“I think it’s really narrow, a narrow perspective to think what we can implement in the town of East Hartford can by itself cause contractions on the COVID-19.”
She said so far, there is no plan to roll back to Phase 2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.