During a press conference on Thursday Governor Lamont said Covid-19 trends were up, including 11 new deaths, which was disheartening.
He said that there were 31,000 tests since the previous day, which was notable considering there were about 20 tests a day in the early days of the pandemic.
He said testing had improved tremendously and was ubiquitous. The BinaxNOW test yields a virtually instant response in about 15 minutes. There is also PCR testing, saliva tests and wastewater tests.
Lamont said 3 weeks ago there were just four towns on the state’s “version of a Measles Map,” which is a map of hot spots in Connecticut. He said from four towns it went to 30 to 42 towns on the map, which represents about 60% of the state’s population. Red is 15 cases detected per 100,000 on a daily basis.
Back in the spring, Covid was limited mostly to the southern part of the state, which meant it was possible to offer help to NY and move people around the State.
“Today, you don’t have that opportunity,” he said. “It’s an extra reason why we are monitoring hospital capacity very well.”
He gave a reminder that Thursday at midnight the state would revert to phase 2, with modifications.
Restaurants will go from 75% to 50% capacity, six people to the table, (down from 8 people per table). Also, last call will be at 9:30pm and dining room closes at 10:00pm. Restaurants can continue to offer take-out.
Lamont said he wanted to focus on the size of private gatherings, limiting them to 10 people indoors or outdoors.
“It’s in informal, private gatherings where we’re seeing the ignition take off,” he said.
“Thanksgiving dinner: Ten. That dinner party: Ten,” he said. “And we’re recommending to people be home by 10:00pm.”
Lamont said that the 10 person limit will be enforced via the honor system.
“Connecticut’s pretty good on the honor system,” he said.
As for sports, Lamont said there will be no hosting in CT of any regional competitions or tournaments beginning Monday.
He said a lot of people had been coming in from out of state for tournaments. He said the decision was made in collaboration with MA and RI, and that NY had already cut way back on high school sports competition.
“That means that no CT team will travel out of state for games,” he said, adding he recommended against competitions over the weekend.
“No high risk sports will be played for the rest of 2020,” he said, adding that medium risk sports will still be allowed.
“But for indoor sports like hockey and basketball, wear a mask,” he said, adding that it will be important to have rosters available to enable “prompt track & trace.”
To limit the spread of Covid, he said high risk sports will not be played between now and the end of the year, including Wrestling, Boxing, 11-1on-11 football, Rugby, Boys Lacrosse martial arts, Competitive Cheer and Dance.
Lamont confirmed that the new rule would eliminate the 11-on-11 independent high school football league play.
That said, he noted that college sports have been allowed to continue to play because they are better able to keep within cohorts in a way that is more complicated for high school and elementary school sports.
“That’s why we’ve allowed sports to continue to play in places like UConn,” Lamont said.
Medium risk sports include volleyball, gymnastics, ice hockey and basketball.
He said they’d taken the protocols from the National Federal of High School Sports to determine what is high risk vs medium risk.
“We’re doing everything we can to allow our sports and schools to go as best as we can. We’re not out of the woods yet.
“Connecticut still has the 8th lowest infection rate in the country,” he said. “But that’s no solace at all. Let’s err on the side of caution.”
Lamont repeated the priority of keeping schools open.