Many have asked about the metrics being considered to determine how and when to re-open our businesses, schools and religious institutions. It is becoming clear that there will be a combination of factors to consider as opposed to any one binary data point. Factors such as rates of new infections and mortality, extensive testing and contact tracing have all been discussed.
One metric that is gaining the attention of state leaders is hospital capacity. The CDC has issued guidance that fourteen consecutive days of declining hospitalizations is an important criterion in determining when it is deemed “safe” to reengage portions of our economy. To put this into a local context, the State of Connecticut has experienced five consecutive declines in hospitalizations statewide.
Stamford and Norwalk Hospitals appear to have plateaued and have experienced modest sporadic decreases; but, they have not yet experienced consistent net declines. What this means for Fairfield County remains to be seen and we will certainly keep you informed of any new developments.
Regardless, the discussion is clearly shifting to a phased re-opening of portions of our economy and we are developing plans to support this effort. This will involve an analysis of how essential a given business is relative to the amount of risk associated with re-opening that business. Our role will be to see that every precaution is taken to ensure the safest possible interactions for those businesses that are permitted to re-open.
It should be expected that re-opening phases will roll out to different businesses in a minimum of two-week increments. This is done to provide a window for the surveillance of infections.
Lastly, the State has not issued any additional guidance for CT public schools; so, as of now all schools remain closed until May 20th.