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This story was updated with additional information on Saturday, March 21 at 10:25 a.m.
Governor Ned Lamont on Friday afternoon said he is implementing a “Stay Safe, Stay Home” policy in Connecticut, effective Monday, which includes an order for all “non-essential” businesses to stay closed for an unspecified period of time.”
Under the executive order, the governor is ordering all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entitites in Connecticut "to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to...the governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implment," according to a press release.
Lamont said necessary businesses that will be allowed to stay open include those that provide essential services or functions such as gas stations, banks, healthcare organizations, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Businesses like restaurants will be allowed to provide takeout services. He said he does not anticipate closing package stores. He also said daycare centers will remain open, particularly those that care for children of first responders.
"The Office of the Governor is working in concert with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to develop guidance for all businesses relating to this order. That guidance will be released over the weekend," the press release said.
Certain construction and manufacturing operations, including the state’s aerospace and defense contractors, will be allowed to remain open as well.
Lamont said the details relating to the executive order will be developed over the weekend, and that he expects the order to go into effect on Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m.
He gave as an example a group of kids playing basketball on a public court. Municipal police officers will now be empowered to tell the group to disperse, he said. He said individuals will not be fined.
He did say certain retail establishments, if they are deemed non-essential, and if they remain open, may be subject to fines.
Local coffee shops, for example, would be closed to the public, but could remain open for takeout business only.
He said four people in Connecticut have died from COVID-19, and that 194 have tested positive, most of them in southern Connecticut, as of late Friday, and that he expects the numbers to continue to mount.
The goal of the “Stay Safe. Stay Home” policy is to keep people at home, so that fewer people will become infected, so that the state’s health care system, which is already straining to address the healthcare crisis, does not become overburdened.
The plan recommends the following, according to the press release:
1. That, effective Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m., all non-essential businesses statewide should close
2. Non-essential community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) or postponed at this time.
3. If you do leave your home, do not travel in groups--groups must be limited to workers providing essential services
4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible
5. Businesses and entitites that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet
6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people
7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necssary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders
8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical are, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health
9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations
10. Using precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.
The businesses for which this order applies shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are available at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors . For more information, refer to the text of the executive order at portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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