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‘Stay home, stay safe’: Gov. Lamont advises all non-essential businesses to close, residents to stay home

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In his daily address Friday, Governor Ned Lamont announced a “Stay safe, stay at home” policy, telling all “non-essential” businesses and not-for-profit entities to stay closed for an indefinite time period, beginning at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23.

He is asking that all businesses that can have employees work from home do so.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, gas stations, healthcare, law enforcement and other essential businesses will remain open. He also asked that day cares stay opens as long as they can. People are advised to stay inside unless necessary.

The governor also stated that “non-essential” businesses that do not abide by the order are subject to a fine. He said police will be out enforcing the policy.

Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size — parties, celebrations or other social events — for any reason should be canceled or postponed at this time.

Those who leave their home must not travel in groups —  groups must be limited to workers providing essential services.

Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible.

Lamont said he plans to send out a list of essential businesses by Sunday night.

“At this critical time it is essential that everyone just stay home so we can contain the spread of this virus while keeping essential services running,” Governor Lamont said. “I know that this will be disruptive to many and will bring many daily activities to a halt, but the only way we will be able to mitigate the impacts of this public health emergency is to take measures like this. I appreciate everyone’s cooperation, and I especially want to thank the essential workers who are needed to keep critical services running.”

So what’s the executive order going to look like for mom and pop shops? The owners of Goldberg’s Bagels in West Hartford say they are thankful for anything. They have changed their business over from dine-in to take-out and delivery, and they are keeping her fingers crossed that they can keep the lights on, and this may help.

“It is a lot slower now usually it is packed in here, ” Chad Kirby said. “This week it has been two customers at a time which is good. We’ve been trying to keep them at a distance, and we are worried about that for the weekend too.”

While the Goldbergs might not be on the front lines, they are there for the people who are.

“A lot of EMTs, West Hartford police Hartford police the National Guard base is just right around the corner,” Kirby said.

The announcement came after the governors of New York and California made similar decisions to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Lamont also urged residents aged 70 and over to stay home for the foreseeable future.

So far, four people have died of COVID-19 in the state and 194 have tested positive.

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