'We see a light at the end of the tunnel': Guide to what's next with Phase Two for reopening state

Published on Friday, 22 May 2020 16:52
Written by Catherine Shen


Following the state’s first day of reopening the economy Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont has started discussions about plans for phases two and three.

As the state continues to inch its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second phase of the governor’s reopening plans is slated for June 20. Specific rules of the reopening guidelines for the next two phases have not been determined, but businesses will be made aware two weeks before the opening date. The governor said it will also depend on what the state’s health metrics looks like after opening the first phase.

Businesses that are expected to open for phase two include, hotels (no bar areas), gyms, fitness and sports clubs, all personal services (such as nail salons and tattoo shops), outdoor arts, entertainment and events (up to 50 people), outdoor amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling alleys, social clubs, pools, all museums, zoos, aquariums and restaurants (indoors included, but no bar).

Education and community services that can open during phase two include select youth sports, all summer day camps, public libraries, nonresidential workforce programs, nonresidential clinical/laboratory courses, K-12 summer school, other nonresidential programs, graduate programs and undergraduate residential small-scale pilot programs.

Just like Phase one, there will be a number of criteria that has to be met before entering into Phase two, said Lamont. This includes declining transmissions, testing and contact tracing, business and social safeguards, protection for the vulnerable and healthcare capacity.

Hospitals must have less than 20% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, with less than a 100 net increase in hospitalizations from the last week of Phase one. The state will have to be administering at least 100,000 COVID-19 tests per week and contact tracing cases must be completed within 48 hours.

Regular testing plans for frontline workers and priority high-risk communities also have to be implemented.

Enforcement protocols are also in place. Lamont said it is important to stick together and follow the rules.

“Don’t celebrate people that break the rules. If you care about the community and your family, follow the rules,” he said.

For those who want to report noncompliance issues are encouraged to reach out to 2-1-1 or contact local law enforcement. In general, enforcement is delegated to police, local public health departments and municipal chief elected officials.

“I’ve been so proud that our state has been so good at self-enforcing. I’d like to think that we can keep it that way. We see a light at the end of the tunnel, we see how we’re going to be on June 20, and I think you’re seeing good progress because we’re sticking together,” said Lamont.

Phase three is tentatively planned to roll out at least four weeks following phase two, with bars, indoor event spaces and venues, indoor amusement parks and arcades, and outdoor events (up to 100 people) as the businesses expected to reopen.

Clearer guidance on Phase three will be given as the month goes and everything is contingent on the state’s health metrics.

Contact Catherine Shen at cshen@centralctcommunications.com

Posted in New Britain Herald, , Business, New Britain on Friday, 22 May 2020 16:52. Updated: Friday, 22 May 2020 16:55.