HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont has delayed Phase 3 of the state’s reopening. The announcement came during a news conference on Monday.
As states like Florida and Texas report record numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitals beds reaching capacity, Gov. Lamont is calling a halt to Connecticut’s reopening plans for Phase 3 that included bars.
He said he was “erring on the side of caution,” citing increasing infection rates in other states.
You’ll have to wait longer to attend larger outdoor gatherings. You won’t see restaurants go back to full capacity either, buy high school graduations can still proceed at 150 people.
“We never opened up our bars, and now, slowly, they’re [other states] going back and closing down their bars,” Lamont said. “As Governor Greg Abbott said, ‘I regret having opened the bars at all because they are so conducive to the infection.’ I think that was a good thing we did.”
While Connecticut’s infection rate is below one percent and fewer than 70 people are hospitalized due to the virus, that is far from the case nationwide. 24 states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans as a result.
Lamont teamed up with the other tri-state governors to invoke a regional travel advisory, which requires people traveling from high-risk areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.
It is unclear when Phase 3 will happen; however, Lamont said he hopes that pausing it now will stop the state from backtracking later.
“I think you remember us saying probably a month or so ago we’re trying to be cautious because we don’t want to have to backtrack. We don’t want to open something and have to close it, so I think that’s still gonna be what we want to do.”
Recently, Lamont had debated whether or not to include bars in the next phase but said on Friday that they need “to take a pause right now.”
He said the change came after seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in states where bars reopened earlier and had to close. The governor says anyone who wants to be tested for the virus should be.