HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — How do you open up businesses, and get hospitals back on their feet after the surge of the coronavirus pandemic is over? Governor Ned Lamont addressed that this week, rolling out his new advisory board for the reopening of the state after the pandemic.
Thursday, the governor announced the Reopen CT Advisory Group will be led by an infectious disease doctor out of Yale, the seven others with business and healthcare backgrounds. These individuals basically quit their jobs and focused full-time on reopening the state.
Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo and member of the governor’s new board explained, “We are looking for everybody’s ideas on how to approach a staggered or phase opening. And when we look at all of this we ask how best can we open industry or is it more based on geography or some combination of these?”
But some key criteria will decide when we can reopen which includes:
- When there is a 14-day decline of cases/hospitalizations
- Mass testing
- The ability to protect high-risk populations
- An adequate supply of PPE
- Continued physical distancing regulations
- Adequate healthcare capacity for all
Rob Baril, President of SEIU 1199NE said of the governor’s unveiling of his reopening plan, “Until the healthcare workforce, at a minimum, and other essential workers – at a minimum – have all the protective gear they need, it just doesn’t seem safe to me that we take that step. “
They say if they don’t have enough PPE now, while they’re trying to treat people in the nursing homes, how are they going to reopen the state if there’s not enough to go around in these tough times.
We have May 20 as a decision date. Because by May 20 we will have a lot of testing done, it will give us some insight into how fast we can go, and hopefully, we will have a lot more of the gear.– Governor Ned Lamont/ CT (D)
The governor is not only looking to the advisory board, but what’s going on in China and Singapore, and how they’ve reopened. They had a start to the crisis back in the Fall of 2019. He said reopening the economy too early does no good; if cases start to spread again you have to shut down again.
Sunday, Governor Lamont and the governors from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Delaware announced their appointees that will serve on a multi-state, regional council to restore the economy and get people back to work.
This council is a separate entity from the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, and appointees include one health expert, one economic development expert, and respective chiefs of staff for each state.