In Connecticut COVID-19 cases increased by more than 400 Sunday and hospitalizations dropped as the state settled into its first phase of reopening.
The state saw 446 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday, while hospitalizations decreased by 23 to 701. Deaths increased by 18 bringing the total death toll up to 3.693, according to the Department of Public Health.
Many Memorial Day parades were canceled and for the first time in 20 years AAA did not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast.
The organization said the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19.
“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”
However, traffic is beginning to pick back up and as the weather continues to stay in the 70s residents are taking advantage of Connecticut’s state parks and beaches.
State parks and beaches quickly closed Sunday after reaching capacity. Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison was closed by 9:15 a.m. and Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme was closed by 8:56 a.m. About a dozen state parks and beaches reached capacity Sunday.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said state parks would close when the parking lots reach capacity. She warned people against parking nearby and trying to walk into the parks.
“We have the ability to issue fines to folks who basically disregard our closures and walk in,” Dykes said last week. “That’s really difficult for us to manage.”
She said overall people have been doing a really good job as they’ve had to adjust quickly to the changes.
Offices, retail stores, and outdoor dining at restaurants reopened last Wednesday and Gov. Ned Lamont last week outlined plans for the next phase of reopening on June 20. That reopening is to include gyms, nail salons, and tattoo parlors. Hair salons and barbershops, originally slated to reopen May 20, were delayed until June 1.
Lamont is not expected to hold a daily briefing Monday.