HEADLINES

Understanding Connecticut's Reopening Phases

Reopening the State (Phase I)

Wednesday, May 20 was the beginning of phase 1 of the state’s gradual reopening. Each reopening phase will be staggered to allow time for evaluation. The pace that the state is opened all depends on how it goes. If the virus lessens, things will become less restrictive. If public health metrics deteriorate, the State may choose to revert back to stricter safeguards. A more detailed list of openings can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

Gatherings

All social and recreational gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings are limited to 25% of capacity or up to 100 people indoors, and a maximum of 150 people outdoors. Social-distancing protocols must be maintained.

Face Coverings

When in public and a six-foot distance is unavoidable, face coverings are required to be worn. This does not apply to anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health because of a medical condition.

Social Distancing

Social distancing and other precautions, particularly wearing face masks in public when potentially within 6 feet of others remains important. If we’re too lax with our distancing and protective measures, then the reopening will take longer. If we go slowly, follow the rules and do it right, it won’t take as long.

Restaurants

Restaurants, in addition to take-out and delivery service, can now serve food for in-person outdoor dining. Bars and indoor dining are currently not permitted. Concerning COVID-19 outdoors where there is better air exchange is considered safer than indoors. Outdoor dining guidelines are as follows:

50-percent capacity

Outdoor dining only

Tables 6 feet

Bars closed

Dance floors remain closed

Contactless payments preferred

High-contact areas and bathrooms cleaned frequently

Tables & chairs sanitized between groups

Paper or digital menus or posted on chalkboard/whiteboard

Packaged or rolled silverware

Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes available at entrance and exit

Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings

Table servers to wear disposable gloves, changed frequently

Customers wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except while dining

Offices

Individuals over the age of 65 or with other health conditions should not visit offices, but instead continue to stay home and stay safe. All employees are required to wear a face mask or other face covering that covers the nose and mouth, unless a medical exemption is provided. In work settings where employees are working alone in cubicles with walls or private offices, face masks may be removed, however a mask must be worn when in common areas such as hallways, break rooms and restrooms.

Guidelines are as follows:

Maximum 50-percent capacity

Work from home where possible

Meetings subject to 5-person limit

Employees seated 6 feet apart, leave empty desks where necessary

Physical partitions where possible

Limit elevator capacity

High contact areas & bathrooms cleaned frequently

Common areas & lobbies cleaned frequently

Limit equipment sharing

Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance and in common areas

Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except when in a private office

 Increased ventilation and airflow where possible

Retail

Maximum 50-percent capacity

Fitting rooms closed

Physical barriers at checkout

Markers indicate 6-foot distance in line and at door

Self-serve counters closed

Contactless payments preferred

Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance points

Bathrooms cleaned frequently

High-contact areas cleaned frequently (carts/baskets, door handles, credit card machines)

Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times

Customers to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times

Malls are allowed to reopen as long as they follow the guidelines.

Permitted Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Recreation activities are defined as the following:

 Equestrian (subject to Dept. of Agriculture guidance)

 Mountain Biking

 Camping

 Boat Tours (subject to 5 passengers)

 Charter Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)

 Sport Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)

 Go Kart Race Tracks, practice only (bring your own, no rentals)

 Golf

 Driving Ranges

 Tennis

 1:1 Training, outdoors maintain 6 feet

 Race Tracks (practice only, no spectators)

 Campgrounds (subject to CT Dept. of Public Health rules)

 Outdoor Shooting Range

 Kayaking, Sailing, Canoeing and Stand-up Paddleboarding

 Dirt Biking (practice only)

 Mini Golf

 Batting Cages

 Archery

 Rope Courses

 Ziplines

 Volleyball (2 vs. 2 only)

Hair Salons

Hair salons are permitted to open June 1.

Maximum 50 percent capacity

Appointments only

Waiting rooms closed

Workstations six feet apart

Physical barriers where possible

Contactless payments preferred

Tools soaked in disinfectant between clients

Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes at entrance points

High-contact areas and bathrooms cleaned frequently

Limit conversation where possible.

Employees to wear face masks and face shields or eye protection

Employees to provide clean smock for each customer

Customers to wear face masks or cloth face coverings

 Increased ventilation and airflow where possible

Blow drying only when necessary

Beaches and Swim Areas

Public pools are closed and are not allowed to open until they are opened as part of the Governor’s Reopen CT Plan.

Topstone Park in Redding is currently closed to swimming but will open on a future date yet to be determined. Social distancing will be required.

Shoreline beaches in Connecticut state parks will be open. Governor Lamont recently announced that in Connecticut, state parks that feature beaches along the Connecticut shoreline are currently open, though with capacity limitations, and visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines. Swimming areas at all inland State Parks will be closed indefinitely. Based on the very limited size of inland swim areas and the large groups that will congregate on the beach and in the water, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is prohibiting all swimming at inland State Parks. DEEP will continue to review this policy in alignment with public health recommendations and will consider the reopening of designated swim areas on a case by case basis.

Phase II

The next possible date for additional openings, pending favorable public health data results, is June 20. Gyms, movie theatres, hotels and motels, nail salons and amusement parks are on the list for possible openings. All of it would need to be worked out with specific rules yet to be written. Governor Lamont said June 20 is only a benchmark on the calendar and it all depends on how things go.

Phase III

Bars, indoor event spaces and venues, indoor amusement parks and outdoor events are on the current list for phase 3 of the Governor’s plan. The date being discussed is July 20, a month after phase 2. Like phase 2 it all depends on the health metrics and public cooperation over the next few weeks. Governor Lamont stated “We learn new things about this virus every day, and as a result, the plans outlined are almost certain to change based on new facts, insights, and breakthroughs both here in our state and around the world.”

Voting

Governor Lamont issued an executive order allowing all eligible Connecticut residents to use absentee ballots for the August 11 primaries.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is considered crucial to reopening the state. The goal is to make sure the sporadic cases of COVID-19 don’t turn into a community outbreak. We know this virus is highly contagious and its ability to continue spreading is feasible. The contact tracing process involves the local health department contacting by phone or email those who have recently tested positive for the virus. If they opt into the tracing protocol, the department will ask who they’ve been in close contact within the days leading up to and immediately following the onset of symptoms. Volunteer contact tracers will then contact those who may have crossed paths with that positive COVID-19 case, ask them if they’d like to participate in contact tracing, and proceed from there.

How We Feel App

The State has partnered with the developers of the “How We Feel” app. It’s a tool for health officials and doctors to get a better understanding of how the whole population is feeling, both healthy and sick. It takes about 30 seconds each day. The anonymous information shared has the potential to reveal outbreak hotspots and provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of COVID-19. It’s downloadable for free.

Information Sources

Redding information can be found at: https://townofreddingct.org/

The CDC website is at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Connecticut Department of Public Health site is at: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

 

Reopening the State (Phase I) Wednesday, May 20 was the beginning of phase 1 of the state’s gradual reopening. Each reopening phase will be staggered to allow time for evaluation. The pace that the state is opened all depends on how it goes. If the virus lessens, things will become less restrictive. If public health metrics deteriorate, the State may choose to revert back to stricter safeguards. A more detailed list of openings can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus Gatherings All social and recreational gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings are limited to 25% of capacity or up to 100 people indoors, and a maximum of 150 people outdoors. Social-distancing protocols must be maintained. Face Coverings When in public and a six-foot distance is unavoidable, face coverings are required to be worn. This does not apply to anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health because of a medical condition. Social Distancing Social distancing and other precautions, particularly wearing face masks in public when potentially within 6 feet of others remains important. If we’re too lax with our distancing and protective measures, then the reopening will take longer. If we go slowly, follow the rules and do it right, it won’t take as long. Restaurants Restaurants, in addition to take-out and delivery service, can now serve food for in-person outdoor dining. Bars and indoor dining are currently not permitted. Concerning COVID-19 outdoors where there is better air exchange is considered safer than indoors. Outdoor dining guidelines are as follows: 50-percent capacity Outdoor dining only Tables 6 feet Bars closed Dance floors remain closed Contactless payments preferred High-contact areas and bathrooms cleaned frequently Tables & chairs sanitized between groups Paper or digital menus or posted on chalkboard/whiteboard Packaged or rolled silverware Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes available at entrance and exit Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings Table servers to wear disposable gloves, changed frequently Customers wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except while dining Offices Individuals over the age of 65 or with other health conditions should not visit offices, but instead continue to stay home and stay safe. All employees are required to wear a face mask or other face covering that covers the nose and mouth, unless a medical exemption is provided. In work settings where employees are working alone in cubicles with walls or private offices, face masks may be removed, however a mask must be worn when in common areas such as hallways, break rooms and rest rooms. Guidelines are as follows: Maximum 50-percent capacity Work from home where possible Meetings subject to 5-person limit Employees seated 6 feet apart, leave empty desks where necessary Physical partitions where possible Limit elevator capacity High contact areas & bathrooms cleaned frequently Common areas & lobbies cleaned frequently Limit equipment sharing Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance and in common areas Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except when in a private office  Increased ventilation and airflow where possible Retail Maximum 50-percent capacity Fitting rooms closed Physical barriers at checkout Markers indicate 6-foot distance in line and at door Self-serve counters closed Contactless payments preferred Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance points Bathrooms cleaned frequently High-contact areas cleaned frequently (carts/baskets, door handles, credit card machines) Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times Customers to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times Malls are allowed to reopen as long as they follow the guidelines. Permitted Outdoor Activities Outdoor Recreation activities are defined as the following:  Equestrian (subject to Dept. of Agriculture guidance)  Mountain Biking  Camping  Boat Tours (subject to 5 passengers)  Charter Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)  Sport Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)  Go Kart Race Tracks, practice only (bring your own, no rentals)  Golf  Driving Ranges  Tennis  1:1 Training, outdoors maintain 6 feet  Race Tracks (practice only, no spectators)  Campgrounds (subject to CT Dept. of Public Health rules)  Outdoor Shooting Range  Kayaking, Sailing, Canoeing and Stand-up Paddleboarding  Dirt Biking (practice only)  Mini Golf  Batting Cages  Archery  Rope Courses  Ziplines  Volleyball (2 vs. 2 only) Hair Salons Hair salons are permitted to open June 1. Maximum 50 percent capacity Appointments only Waiting rooms closed Workstations six feet apart Physical barriers where possible Contactless payments preferred Tools soaked in disinfectant between clients Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes at entrance points High-contact areas and bathrooms cleaned frequently Limit conversation where possible. Employees to wear face masks and face shields or eye protection Employees to provide clean smock for each customer Customers to wear face masks or cloth face coverings  Increased ventilation and airflow where possible Blow drying only when necessary Beaches and Swim Areas Public pools are closed and are not allowed to open until they are opened as part of the Governor’s Reopen CT Plan. Topstone Park in Redding is currently closed to swimming but will open on a future date yet to be determined. Social distancing will be required. Shoreline beaches in Connecticut state parks will be open. Governor Lamont recently announced that in Connecticut, state parks that feature beaches along the Connecticut shoreline are currently open, though with capacity limitations, and visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines. Swimming areas at all inland State Parks will be closed indefinitely. Based on the very limited size of inland swim areas and the large groups that will congregate on the beach and in the water, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is prohibiting all swimming at inland State Parks. DEEP will continue to review this policy in alignment with public health recommendations and will consider the reopening of designated swim areas on a case by case basis. Phase II The next possible date for additional openings, pending favorable public health data results, is June 20. Gyms, movie theatres, hotels and motels, nail salons and amusement parks are on the list for possible openings. All of it would need to be worked out with specific rules yet to be written. Governor Lamont said June 20 is only a benchmark on the calendar and it all depends on how things go. Phase III Bars, indoor event spaces and venues, indoor amusement parks and outdoor events are on the current list for phase 3 of the Governor’s plan. The date being discussed is July 20, a month after phase 2. Like phase 2 it all depends on the health metrics and public cooperation over the next few weeks. Governor Lamont stated “We learn new things about this virus every day, and as a result, the plans outlined are almost certain to change based on new facts, insights, and breakthroughs both here in our state and around the world.” Voting Governor Lamont issued an executive order allowing all eligible Connecticut residents to use absentee ballots for the August 11 primaries. Contact Tracing Contact tracing is considered crucial to reopening the state. The goal is to make sure the sporadic cases of COVID-19 don’t turn into a community outbreak. We know this virus is highly contagious and its ability to continue spreading is feasible. The contact tracing process involves the local health department contacting by phone or email those who have recently tested positive for the virus. If they opt in to the tracing protocol, the department will ask who they’ve been in close contact with in the days leading up to and immediately following the onset of symptoms. Volunteer contact tracers will then contact those who may have crossed paths with that positive COVID-19 case, ask them if they’d like to participate in contact tracing, and proceed from there. How We Feel App The State has partnered with the developers of the “How We Feel” app. It’s a tool for health officials and doctors to get a better understanding of how the whole population is feeling, both healthy and sick. It takes about 30 seconds each day. The anonymous information shared has the potential to reveal outbreak hotspots and provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of COVID-19. It’s downloadable for free. Information Sources Redding information can be found at: https://townofreddingct.org/ The CDC website is at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html Connecticut Department of Public Health site is at: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus The Redding Health Department

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