Coronavirus News: Connecticut moves forward with May 20 reopening, no decision on schools

CONNECTICUT (WABC) -- 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.

The death toll now stands at 2,339, with 28,764 confirmed cases.

Lamont said the state plans to start re-opening May 20, but businesses need to give consumers confidence about going back into stores.

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.

In Fairfield Friday, the town reopened access to its beaches and marinas, with restrictions: No chairs, blankets or coolers allowed, no picnicking, no mass gatherings, no pets. In other words, beach access is limited to passive recreation.

Lamont said that because of the pandemic, the state faces a $934 million deficit this fiscal year, which ends in June, along with a projected deficit of $2 billion for fiscal year 2021.

He added a strong "rainy day fund" will help the state finish this year.

The May 20 openings include outdoor areas of restaurants and bars, outdoor museums and zoos, offices and retail outlets. Barber shops, hair salons and other personal care businesses were types of businesses specifically mentioned.

Employees are still urged to work from home when possible, and face masks are still being encouraged as "an effective way" to prevent transmissions.

Lamont's plan relies on four levels - red, orange, yellow and green. The final level, green, may not be achieved for 10 months. He cited Georgia as an example for personal services businesses.

"Based on what we see in Georgia and other places, people aren't flooding in, people are doing it by appointment," he said. "So we are going to come up with some protocols that maybe give us an opportunity to get that started up on a limited basis starting on May 20."

People can make their own choices about whether to leave their homes, even after May 20, but Lamont strongly recommends people older than 70 stay home.


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