HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont signed his 43rd executive order Monday that extends his prohibition on large gatherings, continues restrictions on indoor gyms and movie theaters, cancels all overnight camps, and prohibits summer school from starting before July 6.
The executive order, which came out after 9 p.m. Monday, also prohibits day camps not operating before May 5, from opening before June 22.
The order extends the prohibition on gatherings of more than 5 people until June 20. It also clarifies the limits on what mixed drinks are permitted for takeout delivery and it allows for the reopening of outdoor dining, offices, retail and malls, and museums and zoos starting May 20.
The order comes as testing increases and the state continues to see a drop in hospitalizations. As of Monday the number of hospitalizations had dropped below 1,000 to 920.
Connecticut also has been able to administer 45,000 tests over the past seven days. Democratic Gov. Lamont has said the goal is to administer 42,000 tests per week. Documents created by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Committee show that to prevent another outbreak, testing would have to reach 140,000 per week.
Earlier in the day, Lamont announced his decision to wait until June 1 to open hair salons and barber shops. He later joined a virtual town hall meeting hosted by WTNH where he received some criticism from a Republican lawmaker.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said there’s no question that there’s a fine line between reopening the economy and keeping people safe.
“I’ve come to the conclusion at this point that we need to go into special session in the Connecticut legislature because we have tried to be deferential and supportive of the governor and the administration’s decisions, but there’s been a lot of lost confidence in the decisions that were made,” Klarides said. “I’m not saying that the decision to open or close is right or wrong. I think those decisions should be based very strongly on what the health concerns of Connecticut are, but what we’ve seen these past couple weeks has been inconsistent, there’s been a lack of detail and it’s caused more confusion and anxiety than people already have.”
She said the pattern of stopping and starting from school return dates to changes with hair and nail salons caused public confusion. She said add to that the hiring of a consulting group and what you have is “a lack of transparency that results in a lack of trust.”
Lamont, who has been hosting daily hour-long press briefings since the middle of March, was given an opportunity to respond.
Lamont said the legislature is welcome to reconvene a special session.
“I can tell you though I’ve been in active contact with the legislature all along the way,” Lamont said.
He said he also knows the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Committee has met on a weekly basis with the legislative leadership.
“We’re doing everything we can to impress upon people this is what we’re doing, why are we doing it this way and if we stick together we’re going to get through this safely and our state will be stronger for it,” Lamont said.
Last week, about half of the Senate Democratic caucus wrote Lamont a letter asking him to delay the first phase of the reopening.