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Lamont Planning Executive Order Giving Local Authorities Ability to Roll Back Reopening During COVID-19 Spikes

  • As Connecticut proceeds with Phase 3 of its reopening plan, Governor Ned Lamont says he will issue an executive order allowing local officials to tighten COVID-19 restrictions in their communities
  • Announcement comes as COVID-19 cases increase in the state, with spikes in New London and Norwich
  • City mayors say they don’t expect to implement such rollbacks if Lamont issues the order

Governor Ned Lamont announced Monday that he plans to issue an executive order this week giving local officials greater authority to increase COVID-19 restrictions if they are concerned about the spread of the virus in their communities. Connecticut recently began Phase 3 of its reopening plan, and has proceeded even as COVID-19 cases in Connecticut have increased.

During a visit to New London, which along with nearby city Norwich has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases recently, Lamont said the executive order would aim to address localized outbreaks in Connecticut. The order would allow elected officials in towns with high positivity rates to roll back to Phase 2 restrictions, while state officials will issue a weekly update on which communities have this authority. Phase 3, which began last week, increases capacity limits at a variety of businesses and gatherings.

Connecticut’s overall positivity rate stood at 1.4 percent on Monday, one of the lowest in the United States but elevated from the state’s summer figures. Dr. Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner of the Department of Health, said contact tracing suggests that the recent spread of the virus stems largely from family gatherings, carpooling, and lunchroom environments where people remove their masks.

The mayors of both New London and Norwich said they have looked into the possibility of tightening restrictions, but are unlikely to do so.

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