The “new normal” in Connecticut begins next week when the state begins phase 1 of its plan to reopen the economy amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
On Wednesday, May 20, businesses will begin to reopen, highlighted by outdoor restaurants, select recreational hubs, and hair salons, under the guidance of Gov. Ned Lamont, state, and federal health officials.
Retailers, including big box stores and local small businesses, will once again open their doors. Some malls in Fairfield County are slated to potentially open, though they will be under new, strict, social distancing guidelines for patrons.
Restaurants will also reopen, though only for outdoor dining, with increased sanitizing protocols with delivery and takeout options still available during phase 1 of the reopening plan.
No bar areas will be open, and the public will still be required to wear face coverings, namely restaurant employees, though patrons over the age of 70 have been advised to continue complying with "stay at home" orders as a precaution.
As of May 20, Calf Pasture Beach, Shady Beach, and Cranberry Park will reopen to traffic in Norwalk, with parking lots permitted to reach 50 percent capacity, city officials announced this week. There will also be limited parking for non-residents.
Zoos and select museums with outdoor exhibitions will also be permitted to open, as well as some office buildings, though Lamont has said that anyone who can continue working remotely should do so as a precaution. Barbershops and hair salons will also be open, with new safety precautions.
There have been 149,562 Connecticut residents tested for COVID-19, with 35,464 testing positive for the virus. There are currently 1,103 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, and there have been 3,219 COVID-19-related deaths.
In Fairfield County, there have been 13,836 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 1,093 deaths; while there have been 1,203 cases in Litchfield County, resulting in 115 fatalities.
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