Lamont is in no rush for Phase 3: 'Let's wait and see'

Maya Rajamani
July 06, 2020 - 6:31 pm

HARTFORD, CT (1010 WINS) -- Connecticut will delay Phase 3 of its reopening indefinitely to avoid the COVID-19 resurgences other states are seeing, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday. 

Connecticut was originally slated to enter Phase 3 on July 20, but Lamont on Monday said the state would “take a pause” on further reopenings. 

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Connecticut will continue to limit indoor gatherings to 25 people and outdoor gatherings to 100 people. Bars will remain closed, and restaurants will continue to operate at maximum 50 percent capacity, he said. 

“Look, I like a beer at the bar as much as the next person, I know how frustrating this can be, but right now, with this pandemic flaring up in a majority of other states, this is not the time to take a risk,” he said. 

Asked when bars might be able to reopen, Lamont said the state would “wait and see.”

“We’ll be looking around the rest of the country, we’ll be looking around at our neighboring states, to see if we reach a point where we can do it safely,” he said. “If we’ve learned one thing, it’s how much safer outdoors is than indoors."

The state’s campgrounds will still reopen on July 8, he noted. 

The decision to delay Phase 3 came despite the fact that Connecticut reported positive COVID-19 numbers over the long weekend, Lamont said. 

Three people died of COVID-19 between Friday and Sunday, and 259 of 24,692 tests conducted came back positive, he said. 

As of Sunday evening, 69 state residents were hospitalized with the virus, the lowest number of hospitalizations since March 23.  

“The numbers continue to trend in the right direction, which is not true of 38 other states around the country,” he said. “So we should be thankful for that.”