Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Lamont Says Connecticut’s COVID-19 Hospitalizations Dropped Dramatically

By Jim Welch

Hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 pandemic experienced the largest one day drop to date, Gov. Ned Lamont said today, while other public health data indicate positive trends are continuing as the state gradually reopens its economy.

Numbers released today show 577 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19, a drop of more than 70 people since Thursday. The governor said it was the largest one day decline to date. The state reported 203 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 41,762 total cases overall.

Lamont said social gatherings inside homes and other buildings can increase to 10 people and outdoor gatherings can increase to 25. The previous state guideline was to limit gatherings to five people.

“Outside is safer than inside,” Lamont said.

Members of the governor’s Faith Advocacy Council joined Lamont on the steps of the State Capitol today to discuss the public reopening of places of worship.

They also shared reaction to the death of George Floyd and the riots in Minneapolis, Minn.

“George Floyd could have been me. George Floyd could have been you,” said Kelcy G.L. Steele, pastor at Varick Memorial AME Zion Church in New Haven. Steele asked for a moment of silence for Floyd after speaking about “the disease of racism.”

Minnesota officials announced today the former police officer who pinned Floyd under his knee would be charged with murder.

Lamont said Connecticut residents have reason to be angry about the death of Floyd.

“It reminds all of us every day what it means to be part of a common humanity,” Lamont said. He called for a need for diversity in state and local police forces, teachers, and faith leaders.

The governor repeated his disagreement with tribal leaders’ decision to reopen Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in the next few days. Both casinos said today that they invited a select number of guests to the casinos this weekend and that they plan to reopen Monday to the public, with limits on visitor numbers.

But Lamont said his administration and tribal leaders had reached some common ground, however, and that he agrees with the casinos’ decisions to bar out of state guests from staying at their hotels. He also he is pleased the casinos will make dining takeout or outdoor only through June 20.

Tribal leaders and the governor’s office are still discussing whether smoking will be allowed and how alcohol will be served.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun both have announced safety measures that include checking people’s temperatures as they enter, plexiglass at table games and the closure of certain slot machines to encourage social distancing. The casinos are on tribal land which are sovereign nations not held to the state’s COVID-19 regulations.

Lamont said today that the state may post electronic signs warning of the danger of returning to the casinos.

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