HARTFORD, CT — The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to fall as Connecticut readies for the second phase of reopening Wednesday.
Connecticut’s hospitalizations peaked on April 22 with around 2,000. On Tuesday, the state was down to 201 patients hospitalized with coronavirus.
On Wednesday amusement parks, indoor seating at restaurants, indoor recreation, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and fitness facilities will reopen.
State officials said 15,000 of these businesses already have self-certified and have agreed to follow the protocols prescribed by the state. A list of all the businesses to self-certify is on the state website.
“We’re doing what we can to get 95 percent of our economy up and operating,” Lamont said.
On Tuesday, Lamont also reduced the number of people who could gather at a personal residence to 25 indoors and 100 outdoors.
Lamont, whose daughter has postponed her wedding, said the thinking is that personal gatherings tend to be invitation-only and it would be easier to track and trace any infection.
Outdoor graduations will remain at 150 starting July 6.
Lamont said they issued the guidance on gatherings because they wanted to give families an opportunity to plan knowing that if there’s a “flare up,” they will have to change course.
He said in mid-July they might expand the allowable number for outdoor gatherings to 250. But he said people will have to weigh the risk knowing things could change.
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said he’s worried people will get complacent.
“Mask-wearing is critically important,” Lehman said. “We need to keep doing that as we reopen the economy otherwise we’re going to jeopardize our reopen.”
He said hand-sanitizing and physically distancing are also important.
“People see the data and they think we’re back to normal, but we’re not,” Lehman stressed. “We can’t let our guard down when it comes to these mitigation measures otherwise we will jeopardize our reopening. We don’t want to go back to where we were in March and April.”
In phase one, not all the businesses that were allowed to reopen chose to, Lehman said. They expect not all phase two businesses will reopen on Wednesday.
Lamont said he was initially worried about indoor dining, but he’s a lot less worried about that now. He said the infection rate in New York is a lot lower than it was.
“I had worried about the hotels and attracting a lot of people and that back and forth,” Lamont said. “Again, given the reasonably low infection rate throughout our whole region I feel pretty confident on those two.”