COVID-19: Now's Not Time To Reopen Bars, Expand Indoor Restaurant Capacity, Lamont Says

Though Connecticut’s daily COVID-19 infection rate remains among the lowest in the nation, Gov. Ned Lamont is taking things slowly and will not be reopening bars or expanding restaurant capacity.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont thinks it's too early to open up bars or restaurants fully due to COVID-19.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont thinks it's too early to open up bars or restaurants fully due to COVID-19. Photo Credit: Pixabay

With the country bracing for an uncertain future regarding the virus and a potential second wave of cases, Lamont said this week that now is not the time to stop being cautious in the fight against COVID-19.

Lamont said that he has consulted with leaders in other states that have reopened too quickly and saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, something he wants Connecticut to avoid.

“They said, ‘We had really low positivity rates and then things began to catch on fire,' " Lamont stated. “And they thought the bars were one of those places that were quite incendiary.”

Current COVID-19 restrictions prohibit bars to reopen, and restaurants are limited to 50 percent capacity, with customers socially distancing and wearing face coverings while they aren’t eating or drinking.

Parties are limited to 25 people indoors or 100 people outdoors. Mass gatherings remain banned.

Lamont cautioned that the next few weeks and months will be make or break for Connecticut as it continues combating COVID-19.

“I think November will be a period of risk, so my job is to make sure that we keep our discipline, something that Connecticut has really led the country in, and make sure we realize that this is really a very crucial 60, 90 days coming up,” Lamont said this week.

“That’s an urgency I have to repeat. I’m afraid this is not a 10-year or 100-year phenomenon. I think it’s going to be more frequent than that, and we have to be ready.”

There have now been 51,594 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Connecticut, with an additional 2,188 probable cases, according to the latest information released by the state Department of Public Health. 

Fifty patients are currently hospitalized with the virus, and there have been 4,474 COVID-19 fatalities since the pandemic began.

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