SUFFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont has given local leaders the ability to take their foot off the gas on re-opening if their community is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
First Selectwoman Melissa Mack of Suffield says, “I wish Suffield were in the enviable position to increase things right now.”
But it’s not. According to the state’s daily COVID data, Suffield has 217 COVID-19 cases, 20 virus-related deaths, and a positivity rate 1.3%.
Mayors want the ability to “take their foot off the gas”, and Gov. Lamont wants to give it to them.
A new executive order signed Tuesday – the governor’s 75th – allows municipal leaders to dial it back to Phase Two reopening capacity limitations for certain businesses and gatherings if cases spike.
“Having that flexibility will allow us to make the best decision for our town,” added First Selectwoman Mack.
But what about towns like Canaan and Scotland where there have been zero cases of COVID? When will it be okay to let them move to Phase 4 or fully reopen?
Governor Lamont said, “I’m not interested in having different towns open up and let it go. We are still in a pandemic and will be cautious about reopening.”
But with a patchwork of phases around the state, some towns could limit capacity at businesses and municipal buildings – and others might not. Some believe this creates a different problem.
Mayor Michael Passero of New London said, “If you can simply go one mile to the neighboring town and they haven’t rolled back Phase 3, then there’ll be no protection available to the people of New London.”
Gov. Lamont added, “When we have a vaccine that’s widely distributed and used, that’s when we say ‘let it go, everything open, do your own thing.'”