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CORONAVIRUS CONNECTICUT LIVE UPDATES AND NEWS
MAY 20, 2020
Mohegan Sun, Foxwood Casinos to partly reopen on June 1
Connecticut's two federally recognized tribes on Wednesday announced plans to begin reopening portions of their sprawling Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun attractions on June 1, despite calls from Gov. Ned Lamont to remain shuttered to prevent another wave of infections from the coronavirus.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced swimming will be allowed at state beaches on the shoreline when they reopen Friday, but swimming areas at inland state parks will be closed. Officials cited the limited size of the beach and swim areas at inland parks and social distancing rules.
Visitors to shoreline beaches must keep their blanket and chair areas a minimum of 15 feet from other beachgoers, allowing for a 6-foot radius around each person and a 3-foot walkway between groups.
Campgrounds will remain closed until at least June 11.
Lamont signed an executive order Wednesday allowing all eligible, registered voters to vote absentee in the August 11 primary, citing concerns about voters becoming infected with the coronavirus. State law only authorizes the use of an absentee ballot for limited reasons. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said polling places will still open that day.
Prison workers concerned
Corrections officers, nurses and other prison workers say not enough is being done to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside those facilities.
During a video news conference, unionized workers described a tense atmosphere inside the prisons in which inmates are blaming staff for bringing the coronavirus into the system.
They also said cleaning is inadequate, temperature checks are often inaccurate, too few inmates are wearing masks, social distancing is not being enforced in many locations and is not possible in settings such as dormitories.
What beaches are open in NY, NJ and CT?
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but during the coronavirus pandemic, life at the beach in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be somewhat different this year.
Cases top 39,000, deaths continue to rise
Connecticut reported 39,017 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, up 587 from the day before, and 3,529 deaths, an increase of 57. Hospitalizations were down by 27, however, for a total of 887 people. A total of 190,718 tests have been performed.
Phase 2 of reopening outlined
Gov. Lamont outlined Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan for the first time on Wednesday. It is expected to begin on or around June 20. Indoor dining, hotels, gyms and fitness and sports clubs will be eligible to reopen. "We are going to be really careful with movie theaters and bowling alleys, make sure you and employees feel safe," said Lamont. Also eligible: outdoor arts, entertainment and events up to 50 people; outdoor amusement parks, social clubs, pools; all museums, zoos, aquariums; and all remaining personal services. Barbershops and beauty salons are on target to reopen June 1.
To progress to Phase 2, Lamont explained, the state will be looking at five metrics:
*Business and Social Safeguards
*Protection for the Vulnerable
Businesses will have to self certify themselves and the state will issue them a badge that they can post in their business.
Phase 1 of reopening begins
Restaurants began offering service in outdoor dining areas Wednesday as part of the first phase of Connecticut's statewide reopening. Under the state guidelines, restaurateurs who decide to open must print out disposable menus or have the options posted on boards, silverware must be packaged or rolled up, and patrons must abide social distancing. Malls and stores also can welcome customers, but seating areas, food courts and fitting rooms must remain closed and there must be separate entrances and exits, barriers at checkout and and signs or tape to keep shoppers 6-feet apart. More offices can also open, but Lamont is urging people to continue to work from home, if possible.
MAY 19, 2020
Flags return to full-staff
Governor Ned Lamont announced that he is directing U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to return to full-staff at sunset on the evening of Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Flags have been flying at half-staff in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and been affected by COVID-19.
The state released a guide to help small businesses comply with safety rules for reopening during the pandemic.
The Small Business Reopening Resource Guide includes information about financial resources, employee training, physical layout suggestions to help with social distancing and a list of suppliers of protective equipment.
The governor issued an executive order extending a ban on large gatherings and keeping restrictions on off-track betting, indoor fitness studios and movie theaters until June 20.
The order also clarifies that businesses with certain liquor permits may sell cocktails with takeout and delivery orders. Lamont's latest order, issued Monday night, also allows police, local and district health directors, and municipal leaders to enforce restrictions on this week's partial reopening.
Retail anxious to get back to business
It was a quiet morning in Westport Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, but there will be more people on the streets Wednesday when retail in Connecticut reopens. The ReOpen Westport Advisory Team met virtually Tuesday about the phase one reopening, which allows restaurants to offer outdoor dining. Tennis is also fair game for singles play at some public courts. Offices can also reopen in Connecticut Wednesday, though the state still encourages working from home as much as possible. Barber shops and salons, however, will not reopen Wednesday as initially planned.
Despite backlog, NY outperforming many states processing unemployment claims
Over eight weeks from late March to early May, data from the U.S. Department of Labor indicated more than 33 million people had filed unemployment claims -- and of those people, more than 12 million had not received benefits. In the Tri-State region, more than 3.6 million people had filed claims, more than 2 million of them in New York, and more than 700,000 were still waiting for benefits, with more than 150,000 of them in New York. In New York and New Jersey, just over one-fifth of the state workforce was reporting job loss, and in Connecticut, closer to one-third of the state workforce had reported the loss of a job.
MAY 18, 2020
Immigrant family that battled COVID-19 reunited at last thanks to community
A community has come together for a family during tough times and after spending six weeks apart, the family is now together again.
Zully became so sick with COVID-19 that she was put in a medically induced coma and delivered her baby five weeks early by emergency C-section. But not only was she sick, her husband Marvin and their 7-year-old son Junior were ill too - so Junior's 1st-grade teacher Luciana Lira and her family stepped in to care for the newborn.
Medical support for reopening
Dr. Ajay Kumar, the chief clinical officer at Hartford Healthcare, said Monday there is no playbook, but the models he's studied support the governor's decision to being reopening parts of society.
"I think this is the right place to be at this time," Kumar said. "We need to be cautious. We need to be optimistic. But at the same time we need to continue to follow the safety principals."
Kumar said he believes the state will see a slower increase in the number of reported positive cases and a continued decline in hospitalizations. But he also cautioned the death toll likely will continue to rise by about 50 to 60 a day, being driven by cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Disability rights advocates are urging the president and CEO of Hartford Hospital individually to change the hospital's strict "no-visitor" policies because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and allow people with disabilities to bring a support person with them.
In an open letter to Jeffrey A. Flaks, released Sunday, one family told the story of a 73-year-old wife and mother who arrived at Hartford Hospital on April 19 alone, unable to communicate, with severe short-term memory loss. With no family at the hospital, they said there have been "numerous misunderstandings and missteps in her care," leading her to be confused, frightened and unnecessarily restrained.
State budget cuts
The co-chair of the Connecticut House of Representatives' Progressive Democratic Caucus said Monday the state needs to consider higher taxes on the wealthy before cutting any essential services to help cover the massive drop in state revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rep. Anne Hughes of Easton appeared on a conference call organized by the AFL-CIO labor organization. She said front-line workers are risking their lives as state officials consider reducing state and municipal services they rely upon.
Figures released earlier this month show Connecticut is facing a $900 million deficit in the current budget year, which ends on June 30, and a roughly $2.3 billion shortfall in the new fiscal year that begins July 1. It's mostly due to the devastating financial impacts of the coronavirus.
CT man's remarkable recovery
A man in Connecticut almost died twice during a vicious 7-week bout with COVID-19, but he is now back home with his family.
Guide for small businesses in reopening
Connecticut also launched a resource guide for small businesses.
Reopening barbershops/hair salons in June
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced Monday their intention to align the reopening of hair salons and barbershops in their respective states in early June. Hair salons and barbershops were initially included in Phase 1 of Connecticut's reopen plan, which begins May 20, however Governor Lamont said that after having extensive discussions with owners and employees of these businesses he feels that it is in everyone's best interests to provide for some additional preparation time and also align the state with its regional partners.
MAY 16, 2020
CT COVID-19 hospitalizations drop below 1,000
Governor Ned Lamont announced Saturday that the total number of patients hospitalized in Connecticut due to COVID-19 dropped below 1,000. There are now 994 patients in the hospital, down 39 from the day before. The governor also reported 618 new positive COVID-19 cases, raising the state total to 36,703. There were also 54 new deaths due to the coronavirus. In all, the state has now seen 3,339 deaths.
MAY 15, 2020
Connecticut businesses prepare for phased reopening
Next week Connecticut takes a big step forward, giving many businesses the green light to reopen.
CVS opening 12 new COVID-19 test sites
CVS is opening 12 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations in Connecticut. Anyone seeking a test must schedule an appointment. Those receiving the test will remain in their cars and a pharmacist will oversee the test at the drive-thru window. For more information and to register visit cvs.com.
MAY 14, 2020
Some Senate Democrats want next week's reopening delayed
Some Democratic state senators are asking Gov. Ned Lamont to delay his plan to begin reopening Connecticut next week. The request was included in one of two letters released Thursday by a group of senators expressing concern about how some parts of the state are still seeing an increased number of COVID-19 cases.
Lawmakers said it would be a "great loss" to reopen Connecticut without "evidence-based protections" in place. Among the list of suggestions is sample testing of grocery store users.
Connecticut is receiving $111 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to help school districts during the global pandemic.
The Connecticut State Department of Education is developing an application process for school districts, who will have to explain how they plan to use the funds and how remote learning will be part of their plan.
The Connecticut Air National Guard is conducting a statewide flyover Thursday to salute the state's health care workers.
The guard's C-130H aircraft flew above hospitals and other health care facilities beginning shortly after 11 a.m. in Torrington, and were to end shortly before 1 p.m. in Enfield.
Connecticut Food Bank
Food insecurity is a growing problem in Connecticut amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the Connecticut Food Bank continues to step up to feed those in need. Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling are joining the Connecticut Food Bank Thursday at a drive-thru mobile pantry event at the Veteran's Memorial Park and Marina in Fairfield County, the organization's largest hunger relief effort to date.
MAY 13, 2020
The parking lot at Hamen Middle School is now a drop-off and pick-up center for donated food items for the Connecticut food bank. Donations and pick-ups resume at the school Thursday morning starting at 9 a.m.
Largest shipment of PPE yet
Connecticut received its single largest shipment of PPE yet including more than 6 million surgical masks and 100,000 surgical gowns and thermometers.
The Connecticut Air National Guard will conduct a statewide flyover Thursday to salute the state's health care workers.
The guard's C-130H aircraft are expected to fly above hospitals and other health care facilities beginning shortly after 11 a.m. beginning in Torrington, and ending shortly before 1 p.m. in Enfield. Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard, said it's a way to show "appreciation to the thousands of heroes at the front line battling COVID-19."
A coalition of local businesses and associations is calling on the governor to allow Connecticut restaurants to offer some indoor dining, arguing that outdoor-only seating will not be enough to financially sustain the industry.
The letter, released Wednesday by the Connecticut Restaurant Association, asks Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont to commit to a June 3 opening for indoor dining at 50% capacity of normal operations.
Prison ordered to speed up inmate releases
A judge in Connecticut has ruled that officials at the federal prison in Danbury are not moving fast enough to protect inmates from the coronavirus and has ordered authorities to implement a process by Friday to move as many prisoners as possible to home confinement.
U.S. District Judge Michael Shea in Hartford issued the order Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit filed by four Danbury inmates, who say prison officials are not taking seriously a directive in early April from Attorney General William Barr to maximize transfers to home confinement.
MAY 12, 2020
Lamont gets tested
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont made an example of himself Tuesday, getting screened for the coronavirus as the state looks to significantly increase testing before it begins the planned reopening of the economy on May 20.
The governor, who did not immediately receive his test results, said the state has increased testing from about 18,000 per week two weeks ago to about 29,000 per week.
At least five children in Connecticut were being treated Tuesday for a dangerous inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr. Juan Salazar, the physician-in-chief at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, said two patients there are believed to have the rare condition, which mirrors Kawasaki disease, affecting the blood vessels and organs. Tests are being conducted on a third child who may be suffering from either the new syndrome or traditional Kawasaki, Salazar said.
The governor on Tuesday showed off the state's largest single shipment of personal protective equipment to help frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.
The shipment from China includes 6 million surgical masks, 500,000 protective masks, 100,000 surgical gowns and 100,000 temporal thermometers.
Lamont said the supplies are being sorted to be sent out to first responders, hospital staff, nursing homes workers and others.
CT governor fires health commissioner
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has fired the state's public health commissioner in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic because of a series of missteps dating to last year, a state official said Tuesday. The governor announced Tuesday that he had replaced Renee Coleman-Mitchell with Deidre Gifford, commissioner of the state Department of Social Services who will also serve as acting public health commissioner. The official announcement did not say why Coleman-Mitchell was replaced.
MAY 11, 2020
New cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome
Yale New Haven Hospital has reported its first cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. YNHCH currently has three patients diagnosed with the syndrome believed to be tied to COVID-19.
The University of Connecticut held its first-ever virtual commencement ceremony over the weekend. Undergraduate and graduate students, friends and family watched the live-streamed commencement on UConn's YouTube channel.
Gun rights lawsuit
Gun rights supporters sued Lamont and several police chiefs over the coronavirus-related suspension of fingerprinting services needed to obtain gun and ammunition permits.
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League filed the lawsuit Saturday in U.S. District Court, saying a March 17 executive order issued by the Democratic governor violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Summer camps can open in June
Connecticut officials plan to allow summer camps to open next month with some strict guidelines to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The commissioner of the state Office of Early Childhood said Monday that camps will be allowed to open June 29 with a limit of 30 campers per program. Commissioner Beth Bye says there will be waivers available for large camps that can demonstrate they have the space.
MAY 10, 2020
State seeking volunteers
Connecticut is seeking more volunteers to help communities respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Specifically, adults are needed to help non-profits that serve senior citizens, and people with intellectual disabilities. CLICK HERE for more information on how to sign up
Volunteer recruitment expansion
Governor Ned Lamont said that the State of Connecticut and its nonprofit partners are continuing to seek volunteers willing to help communities respond to the COVID-10 crisis. The state's volunteer recruitment effort is being expanded to bolster the ranks of volunteers needed at nonprofits that offer support to children and adults in programs for intellectual disabilities and behavioral health settings, as well as organizations that support senior citizens.
MAY 9, 2020
Connecticut confirmed 573 additional positive COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the state's total to 32,984. Numbers released by Governor Ned Lamont also revealed 58 new coronavirus-related deaths. The statewide death toll now stands at 2,932. Total current hospitalizations dropped by 35, down to 1,301.
The state health department distributed iPads to Connecticut nursing homes Saturday with an order to help residents who have been unable to have visitors since March stay in touch with friends and relatives. The iPads, paid for with civil fines, were being delivered in time for Mother's Day Sunday. Each of the state's 215 nursing homes was to receive a number of the devices based on the facility's size.
The University of Connecticut held its first ever virtual commencement Saturday, with thousands of graduates and parents tuning in on tablets and smartphones. The names of the graduates scrolled like movie credits at the end of the 35-minute ceremony.
MAY 8, 2020
Officials announce reopening protocols
Officials in Connecticut laid out the protocols they expect businesses to follow as they launch a reopening slated to start on May 20. It looks very similar to what's being called for in other states - with face masks required in all businesses, contactless payment encouraged and physical barriers put up where possible. Restaurants will be outdoor dining only at first and hair salons by appointment-only. Officials say business owners should only open up if they feel comfortable.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says the death toll rose by 77 in the state on Friday, but the number of people in the hospital declined slightly. There are 1,336 people still being treated in Connecticut hospitals, while the death toll stands at 2,874 with 32,411 confirmed cases.
MAY 7, 2020
Connecticut shows signs of meeting May 20 reopening criteria
Gov. Ned Lamont says Connecticut is showing positive signs it can meet criteria set for the planned May 20 initial reopening date. He noted Thursday how hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to decline and the state is making progress toward building a 30-day stockpile of personal protective equipment for health care workers.
Gov. Ned Lamont honored nurses and other health care workers Thursday at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.
The event coincided with National Nurses Week. Lamont gave a speech, and health care workers paused for a prayer.
The father of a University of Connecticut student alleges in a new lawsuit the school's online learning programs put in place because of the coronavirus are inadequate and UConn should refund some tuition and fees.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Long Island, New York, seeks class action status to represent other UConn students who paid tuition and fees for this spring's semester, The Hartford Courant reported.
Juvenile detention center workers call for more precautions
Workers at Connecticut's juvenile detention centers are calling on state judicial officials to improve precautions against the coronavirus, after employees and youths tested positive for the virus. Union leaders say workers need N95 masks, and they're urging judicial officials to work with them on plans to better protect workers and detained youth.
Judicial officials say numerous precautions are being taken at the two centers in Hartford and Bridgeport. They also say surgical masks are available for all staff and youths, and there is a worldwide shortage of N95 masks. The unions say 17 workers and eight juveniles at the centers have tested positive for the virus.
Connecticut Food Bank giving out 32 tons of food
A Connecticut food bank is giving away 32 tons of food Thursday to help needy residents combat the coronavirus pandemic. The drive-thru mobile pantry event is distributing 50,000 meals to Bridgeport residents in collaboration with the Connecticut Food Bank and community partners.
MAY 6, 2020
More than 2 dozen Connecticut statues outfitted with face masks
If they can do it, so can you. Historical figures, depicted in statues around the capital city in Connecticut, are now being outfitted with face masks.
Hartford's master gardener came up with the idea to put masks on the statues to serve as a good reminder to residents to always wear a mask in public.
Voters with health conditions eligible for absentee ballots
Connecticut residents with heart conditions, diabetes and other health problems that could make them more susceptible to the coronavirus will be eligible to vote by absentee ballot, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced Wednesday.
Health care workers and first responders also qualify, she said.
Fraud task force
A joint federal and state task force has been formed in Connecticut to investigate fraud related to the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.
The task force will focus on price gouging, fraud in health care and government programs, consumer and small business scams, lending scams, charity fraud and cyber fraud. Violators could face state or federal criminal prosecution or civil fines and penalties, or both.
Nonresident beach ban
East Lyme officials have voted to ban nonresidents from the town's three beaches beginning Memorial Day weekend, in an effort to keep beaches open by limiting crowds and allowing for social distancing.
The town's Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the ban during a virtual meeting Monday, The Day newspaper reported.
Thank you for truckers
Truckers driving on the interstate in Connecticut got a big thank you for their continued work during the pandemic. A large American flag hanging above a hand-painted sign that reads "Thank you truckers" is hanging between exits 2 and 3 of the NB lanes of I-95.
Higher Education in the fall
The state laid out guidance for colleges and universities to reopen in the fall. Schools are also being advised to prepare for remote education. Each institution will need to develop reopening plans around repopulation of the campus, monitoring health conditions, containment if the virus is detected, and a shutdown if necessary.
MAY 5, 2020
A 74-year-old male has become the state's sixth inmate to die from complications related to the novel coronavirus. The unnamed man, who was serving a 13-year-sentence for first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13, was transferred from the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers to a local hospital for treatment on April 23. He died on Tuesday.
Hospitalizations, cases and deaths continue to rise
State officials reported 30,621 positive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, up 648 from Monday. There were 77 additional fatalities, bringing the statewide death toll to 2,633. 1,500 people are being treated for the coronavirus in Connecticut hospitals.
Schools to remain closed
Gov. Ned Lamont said Tuesday he is canceling in-person classes at all Connecticut K-12 public schools for the rest of this school year amid the coronavirus pandemic, requiring districts to continue distance learning.
The Democrat said schools will also be required to continue providing to-go meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs. He was expected to sign a new executive order later in the day. Lamont said he is working with state and local education officials to determine whether summer school programs should be held. More details are expected later this month.
Voting plan praised, action by governor urged
An election reform advocacy group is praising Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's plan to make voting safer amid the pandemic, including providing absentee ballot applications to all eligible voters for the August primary and November general election.
Common Cause in Connecticut, however, said there's "real urgency" for action to be taken by the governor or the General Assembly to allow all voters to vote by mail. Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Common Cause in Connecticut, said while Merrill's plan is "an important first step," an executive order, legislative approval or both are still needed.
MAY 4, 2020
Food aid groups try to outbid others; state seeks a solution
The Connecticut agriculture commissioner is considering buying food in bulk to provide to organizations that feed needy people, which have seen huge upticks in demand coupled with challenges in getting supplies, he said Monday.
Having the state or another entity do so on behalf of charitable food banks and pantries might help make more food available, said Commissioner Bryan Hulburt, whose agency was recently tasked with overseeing food insecurity issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill released a plan Monday aimed at making voting safe during the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general election.
Merrill said her office is requiring all cities and towns in the state to submit plans for the two elections that include a list of cleaning and safety products to be used, a list of polling locations, staffing levels at each polling location, and the names of polling workers and moderators. Municipalities will be eligible for grants to cover the extra costs of holding elections during a pandemic, including expenses for cleaning products and increased staffing.
Power plant workers
Workers at Connecticut's only nuclear power plant worry that managers are not taking enough precautions against the coronavirus after 750 temporary employees were brought in to help refuel one of the two active reactors.
Ten employees at the Millstone Power Station in Waterford have tested positive for the virus, and the arrival of the temporary workers alarms some of the permanent employees, The Day newspaper reported Sunday.
MAY 3, 2020
Hospitalizations continue to fall
Connecticut reported a total of 1,488 patients hospitalized, which is down 63 from Saturday.
7 Northeast states join forces, forming a regional team to purchase PPE
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are launching a regional purchasing consortium to jointly procure PPE, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment. This will increase the market power and help prevent price-gouging, NY Gov. Cuomo said.
Connecticut farmers, markets change operations amid pandemic
Connecticut farmers are shifting how they get products to consumers, faced with new challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
Heading into one of their busiest times of year, farmers, growers and operators of open-air markets are grappling with new social distancing rules, fluctuations in demand and smaller crowds at markets.
MAY 2, 2020
Crowds force Connecticut officials to close state parks
Beautiful spring weather brought people out to Connecticut's parks on Saturday, forcing state officials to close many that became too crowded under the state's guidelines for social distancing.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection had closed at least 11 parks because their parking areas were at capacity.
Officials had urged residents to seek out lesser-used parks to avoid crowding. Among the parks to reach capacity were Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown and Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury.
More deaths, increased testing
Connecticut has reported nearly 100 new deaths from COVID-19, pushing the state's total to more than 2,400 Ninety-seven more people died in Connecticut from COVID-19 and the state's total number of cases rose to more than 29,000, state officials reported Saturday.
More than 100,000 people have been tested in the state, a number that could increase soon. Last week, state Epidemiologist Matthew Cartter said there could be 50,000 tests conducted in Connecticut per week by the end of May, compared to about 4,000 tests being done per week now.
MAY 1, 2020
Lamont presses on with re-opening plan
Connecticut continues to move forward with its plan to start re-opening the state later this month, as long as hospitalizations and coronavirus infections remain on the decline. There has been no decision made yet on schools reopening, but Lamont said casinos should remain closed longer because of people who might drive into Connecticut to go to them.
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