COVID-19: Here's What CT Decision To Push Back Phase 3 Of Reopenings Means

Despite data showing cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the positive test result rate has remained low in Connecticut, the state will push back Phase 3 reopenings indefinitely due to a surge of cases in dozens of other states.

A diagram of work space in an office included in the documents on CT reopenings.
A diagram of work space in an office included in the documents on CT reopenings. Photo Credit: State of Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont made the announcement during an afternoon news briefing on Monday, July 6.

"We're going to be cautious on this one," he said.

Phase 3, set to start in mid-July, was scheduled to include:

  • Bars
  • Indoor private gatherings of up to 50 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings (including graduations) up to 250 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings 
  • Outdoor event venues such as theaters and race tracks with 50 percent of fire capacity and distancing

Phase 1 began in the middle of May, with the reopening of non-essential retail businesses, offices, outdoor dining, and outdoor museums and zoos and recreation.

On June 1, hair salons and barbershops reopened. Graduation ceremonies of up to 150 people were also approved.

Phase 2 began in mid-June with indoor dining, hotels, gyms, nail salons, theaters, museums, amusement parks, libraries, spas, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, and other businesses reopening.

The positive testing rate in Connecticut was down to 0.70 percent over the last seven days.

That's lower than any state except Vermont.

During the height of the pandemic, on April 23, nearly 50 percent of those who were tested in Connecticut came back positive.

Between Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 5, 24,692 tests were administered in Connecticut, with 259 coming back positive (1.0 positivity rate).

Twenty-six fewer people are hospitalized with COVID, with the total of 69 the lowest since March 23.

There were three COVID fatalities the last three days.

While the numbers have stayed steady, Lamont warned Connecticut residents to remain vigilant.

During the news briefing, Lamont shared a frontpage image from the now hotspot state of Texas of the Houston Chronicle from Sunday, July 5  with the headline, "How did we get here?"

"They had such a low positivity rate three months ago when Connecticut, New York and New Jersey accounted for about half the positive rate in the country," Lamont said. "So let's not get too big for our britches."

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