HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A plethora of Connecticut residents gathered in Hartford on Monday to protest Governor Ned Lamont’s Stay Safe, Stay Home order.

The Governor says reopening Connecticut is about striking the right balance between economic and public health, but protesters say their economic health is just as vital.

The CT Liberty Rally came armed with signs, car horns and a message: reopen the state. The same day, protests took place in Pennsylvania and following protests in other parts of the country. Here in Connecticut, the protest was against orders put into place during the pandemic: social distancing, orders that prevent groups over five, and the closing of non-essential businesses and schools through May 20.

“We are dying economically, and we are dying socially, and I think it’s about time we start to think about opening up the state,” one protester said.

The group said the closure from the pandemic has cost them their jobs and their livelihoods, and while they understand the virus is a severe matter, they think the state can be opened up safely.

“We’re wiping down each and every time, we were wearing masks before it was even implemented,” one hairstylist told News 8. “We can do one client at a time.”

“Give it a little bit more time but then we’re ready to go back to work,” one protester told News 8. “Let’s see how it goes in a couple of weeks, and by May we really need to get the state going again.”

Last week, Lamont created an advisory board (Reopen CT Advisory Group) for the reopening of the state after the pandemic.

Some of the key criteria include 14 days of declining cases/hospitalization, mass testing, protecting high-risk populations and adequate PPE. He says it will be a collaborative effort.

While the state saw a decline in hospitalizations over the weekend, Lamont said it’s not time to loosen the reins yet.

“This is no time to take out eye off the ball,” Lamont said. “I love that when Doctor [Albert] Ko, who is co-leading our reopen Connecticut effort, was asked that question. He said, ‘I’d like each of those demonstrators to walk through one of my ICU units and see what pain and hurt and fatalities can result from this pandemic.'”

The group is hoping the governor’s advisory board can take another look and see how to reopen the state safely and in a timely manner.

“Governor Lamont, you can open up other businesses with guidelines like you do with the supermarkets.”

Currently, Lamont said closures will continue until May 20.