Connecticut To Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

Image Courtesy of The Hartford Courant

Image Courtesy of The Hartford Courant

Tyler Dyer, Staff Writer

Connecticut will be lifting all COVID-19 restrictions affecting businesses next month except for mask-wearing. This decision is based on a few metrics: the decrease in COVID-19 cases, the increase in vaccination rates, and the new CDC recommendations. The announcement came as the state surpassed 8,000 COVID-associated deaths; however, Connecticut currently ranks second in the nation for most vaccines administered per capita. Over 1.1 million Connecticut residents are currently fully vaccinated, and 1.7 million people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the governor.

Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont, said that residents deserve a new normal considering 50% of the state is fully vaccinated. Stating that “Sixty-four-year-olds they’re up about 76% so really good progress there, and in the younger age group at least you can see we’re making a big increase over the last week,”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky issued new guidance on outdoor mask use for fully vaccinated Americans on Tuesday. Announcing that fully vaccinated people can now take their masks off at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. But non-vaccinated people still need to wear a mask at such gatherings.

Following these guidelines, the first stage of phasing out the restrictions begins on May 1 when outdoor restrictions will be lifted. Seating and table limits will be removed, bars will be allowed to serve drinks without food, and the current 11 pm curfew moves to 12 a.m. On May 19, all restrictions will be lifted, except for the indoor mask mandate.

The CDC stated that even if you have been vaccinated, you should avoid large indoor gatherings. However, they did not define how many people count as a large gathering. Fully vaccinated people should still wear masks in indoor public spaces, such as a mall, movie theatre, or museum. For the most protection and safety, the CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask.