HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont, who some felt failed to deliver a clear message Friday when he launched his “Stay safe. Stay at Home,” campaign, will use the CTAlerts system for the first time Sunday to call Connecticut residents.
The recorded phone message will reiterate his call to encourage people to stay at home.
“I’m not ordering you to stay home, I’m strongly urging you to stay home to make sure that you and your neighbors are much less likely to be infected by the highly contagious COVID-19 virus,” Lamont says in the call. “If you must head out to the grocery store, or pharmacy, pick up take-out from your favorite restaurant, that’s fine. I’ll be taking a long walk with Annie to get some fresh air, but remember to keep your distance from passersby.”
Confusion followed Lamont’s Friday press briefing regarding what businesses would be considered essential. The executive order listed some industries the administration felt was essential like law enforcement, healthcare, grocery store workers, and manufacturers, but it left the rest up to the Department of Economic and Community Development.
The DECD will be releasing guidance Sunday night.
Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, said he’s not sure to what extent the governor can order people’s behavior, but it wouldn’t hurt to be more clear and concise about the problem.
“I’m shocked at how many people don’t understand how this virus is transmitted,” Candelora said.
He pointed out that even if your business is considered essential and gets you out of the house, it doesn’t mean you’re immune to the virus. Candelora said his company is manufacturing the staples for masks and is still open, but the employees are at least 20 feet away from each other.
Candelora has been reading up on exactly how the virus spreads.
He said his son recently returned from Italy and quarantined himself in his room for 14 days following his return. He said his son was surprised when no one from the government contacted him or talked to him about how to make sure he remained safe.
“We should have shut down busing, trains, and airports,” Candelora said Sunday.
He said it’s no surprise that all the hot spots in the country are in states with international airports.
At the same time, lawmakers understand Connecticut can’t completely shut its borders.
“I know some people are saying we need to shut down this place solid, but we are not New York,” Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano said. “We are still an economy and people have to survive.”
He said he finds it interesting when individuals who are guaranteed a paycheck for the next 30 days want to shut down the state.
Fasano said legislative leaders have been talking and have been exchanging ideas about a Connecticut economic stimulus package. He said what that looks like will depend on what action the federal government takes on Monday.
Lamont said it’s important for him to communicate directly with Connecticut residents.
“We are currently living through an emergency that we have never seen before, and making sure our residents receive direct communication from their governor is important,” Lamont said.