Reopening CT: What’s coming in Phase 2

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut entered Phase 1 of its reopening plan on Wednesday, May 20, by permitting outdoor dining, retail stores, offices as well as outdoor zoos and aquariums.

With that stage just hours old, during his daily briefing, Governor Ned Lamont spoke about what’s next for the state by laying out what is expected to be included in Phase 2. The pandemic has been hard on so many industries. The restaurant association says only 25 percent of restaurants in the state even have outdoor seating so the majority still won’t be serving customers as usual. The Governor says that will change late June. 

Phase 2, which is set to begin June 20, would allow for the following businesses to reopen:

  • Gyms, fitness and sports clubs
  • All personal services
  • Outdoor arts, entertainment and events (up to 50 people)
  • Outdoor amusement parks
  • Movie theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Social clubs and pools
  • All museums, zoos and aquariums
  • Indoor dining (no bars)

On Tuesday, May 26, Lamont released his “road map” to reopening. It details what is included in each phase of the reopening and how the state’s economy can improve after the pandemic. The full report can be found online.

He said bars, indoor event spaces and venues, indoor amusement parks and arcades and outdoor events (up to 100 people) would reopen on in Phase 3, which will be around July 20.

Dr. Albert Ko said he’s not worried about people touching and handing off gym equipment, he said the issue lies with face-to-face contact.

“The most important risk is actually between person-to-person; somebody standing within 6 feet where droplets have transmitted, somebody who is infected can actually reach somebody else.”

Erik Castiglione, who owns CrossFit Relentless, said he’s ready to reopen and is already thinking about what that may look like.

“We will control the flow of people,” he said. ‘We will mark out 10 by 10 spaces and limit class sizes and everybody gets their own designated equipment for that day. We are very well equipped to handle the opening.”

Lamont also said the following education and community services would open in June or beyond:

  • Selected youth sports (June 20)
  • All summer day camps (June 22)
  • Public libraries (June 20)
  • Nonresidential workforce programs (mid-June)
  • Nonresidential clinical/laboratory courses (mid-June)
  • K-12 summer school (July 6)
  • Other nonresidential programs (July/August)
  • Graduate programs (July/August)
  • Undergraduate residential smallscale pilot programs (July/August)

For Phase 2 to take place, Lamont said the state must meet five criteria:

  • Declining transmission — fewer than 100-bed net increase in hospitalizations in last week of Phase 1.
  • Testing and contact tracing — 100,000 tests per week and 50% completed contact tracing within 48 hours.
  • Business and social safeguards — rules and regulations disseminated two weeks prior to Phase 2.
  • Protection for the vulnerable — testing plan to keep workers and priority high-risk communities implemented.
  • Healthcare capacity — fewer than 20% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients amongst total peak virus bed capacity.

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