Out of an abundance of caution and based on what’s happening in other states, Gov. Ned Lamont is postponing Phase 3 of Connecticut’s reopening plan.
Phase 3 would have brought the reopening of bars and an increase in capacity for entertainment venues, restaurants, and gyms.
“We’re going to keep that at 50% for the foreseeable future,” Lamont said. “We’re just erring on the side of caution. Like we said before, we’re seeing what’s going on in other states and I think it’s really important that we maintain that.”
The state is also allowing 25-person gatherings inside and 100 people outside. Along with 150 person outdoor graduations.
State campgrounds will still open on July 8, but bars will still have to keep their doors closed.
“Standing up at a bar is not a good way to socially distance,” Lamont said.
He said they were unable to control what happened in Texas and then had to close the bars.
“I like a beer at the bar like the next person. I know how frustrating this can be,” Lamont said. “Right now with this pandemic flaring up in a majority of our other states, this is not the time to take a risk.”
Lamont said they seem to be past a point where they would expect to see a spike from the Black Lives Matters rallies that took place in Connecticut a few weeks ago.
He said the fact that the rallies were outdoors, and most people were wearing masks, appears to have helped.
Since Friday 259 residents have tested positive and 24,692 tests were conducted. Hospitalizations were down by 26 to 69 on Monday and only three people died over the past three days.
Lamont said that the state has been able to stay on top of contact tracing and has followed up with 96% of positive cases within 48 hours.
However, only 47% of the people the positive person has had contact with have been successfully contacted. Some of that is people who haven’t answered the call, and others have been uncooperative.
Josh Geballe, Lamont’s chief operating officer, said there are tools available to encourage participation if there is someone who was at a significant spreading event, but they haven’t had the need yet to get greater cooperation.
ContaCT is Connecticut’s voluntary tracing program for tracking people with COVID-19.
Lamont urged anyone who gets a text message from CT COVID TRACE to respond.