Lamont: No Plan To Halt Indoor Dining In Conn. But Pause On Reopening Possible

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 02, 2020 - 8:50 am

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Gov. Ned Lamont told WCBS 880 Thursday that Connecticut is not considering a pause on indoor dining but that the state’s reopening could be rolled back if residents let down their guard and cases begin to rise in the state as they have elsewhere in the U.S.

    “We’re not,” Lamont said when asked by Steve Scott if the state planned to put indoor dining on hold as New Jersey and New York City have amid spiking COVID-19 cases across the nation.

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    “We opened for outdoor dining about six weeks ago, and six weeks later we have one of the lowest infection rates in the country behind Vermont and Alaska, where it’s pretty easy to social distance,” Lamont said. “And we did our indoor dining up to 50 percent—so there’s real strict social spacing—a little over two weeks ago.”

    “But if we did people aren’t taking the distancing seriously, we can take a second look,” the governor added.

    Asked if the state may rein in the state’s Phase 3 reopening, set for later this month, because of the nation’s rising cases, Lamont said it’s a possibility.

    “Connecticut’s been pretty good about following the protocols, keeping up their guard,” he said. “But if we find people are getting casual and putting others at risk, you bet we’d hit a pause.”

    Lamont said his biggest concern going into the Fourth of July holiday weekend is people coming to Connecticut from other states and not taking the rules seriously.

    “Hordes of people flying up from Florida and South Carolina and Texas and Arizona and debarking without being tested or quarantining, not taking it seriously,” Lamont said. “They have hotspots with a 40 percent infection rate, and we can’t build a wall around our state or our region, so we have to be careful there.”

    Amid reports that people who attended a party in Rockland County in New York weren’t cooperating with contact tracers, Lamont said some people in Connecticut have been uncooperative as well.

    “I think we have probably 50 to 60 percent of the people we call and say, ‘You’ve tested positive, we’d like to protect your friends and neighbors, if you could tell us who you’ve been in contact with.’ And not everybody’s willing to do that, and we have to give them confidence that your friends will just get a free test. If they have to self-quarantine, we can put them up in a hotel, but there’s some hesitancy, no question.”

    Lamont said the state hasn’t had to penalize anyone yet for not cooperating with tracers.

    “We’re still using persuasion. We’re using the ministers. We’re using the other influences in the community to remind people how important it is to cooperate,” the governor said.

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