HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- As the state continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the second phase of reopening is happening on Wednesday.
Phase 1 has been underway since the middle of May.
As it hadn't shown any spikes in hospitalizations, Gov. Ned Lamont made some changes regarding the next step in the reopening process, announcing that 'Phase 2' would happen on June 17, instead of June 20 like originally planned.
Read the detailed rules and certification for reopening here.
"Our public health professionals are continuing to monitor test results for possible links to large demonstrations, but as long as COVID hospitalizations and infection rates remain low, we will be in a very good position for a June 17 Phase 2," Gov. Ned Lamont said.
Phase 2 includes indoor dining, gyms, nail salons, theaters, museums, amusement parks, hotels, libraries, spas, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and more.
The state partially reopened on Wednesday, May 20. It was the first of three phases that were outlined by the governor and the Reopen CT Advisory Group.
With Phase 1 came outdoor dining, and the reopening of non-essential retail businesses, offices, outdoor museums and zoos, outdoor recreation.
Hair salons and barbershops reopened on June 1.
As Phase 1 went on, hospitalizations continued to trend in the downward direction, which was a major goal to be reached before the first phase.
Along with downed hospitalizations, the advisory group wanted the state to also:
• Achieve an increase in widespread and streamlined testing
• Establish sufficient capacity for contact tracing and isolation
• Implement a high touch program to protect persons and populations that are at higher risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19
• Ensure our hospitals are able to provide optimal standard of care to all patients, including those without COVID-19, as prior to the surge
• Guarantee appropriate PPE is available to everyone who needs it
• Implement protocols to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place for safe opening of each sector of our economy
As Phase 1 got underway on May 20, Gov. Ned Lamont also outlined what would come with Phase 2.
For Phase 2 to happen, five criteria were required to be met, including: Declining transmission, with a less than 100-bed net increase in hospitalizations in the last week of Phase 1; testing and contact tracing, with 100,000 tests a week connected with less than 50% of identified contacts within 48 hours; business and social safeguards; protection for critical and at-risk individuals; healthcare capacity, with less than 20% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients amongst total peak COVID-19 bed capacity.
Take a look at the latest coronavirus statistics in the state, here.
The Phase 2 businesses that are expected to reopen on June 17 include:
• Hotels (no bar areas)
• Gyms, fitness, and sports clubs
• All personal services
• Outdoor arts, entertainment and events (up to 50 people)
• Outdoor amusement parts
• Movie theaters
• Bowling alleys
• Social clubs, pools
• All museums, zoo, aquariums
• Restaurants (indoor, no bar)
Also under Phase 2 are several education and community services, including:
• Selected youth sports (Jun 20)
• Public libraries (Jun 20)
• All summer day camps (Jun 22)
• Nonresidential workforce programs (mid Jun)
• Nonresidential clinical/laboratory courses (mid Jun)
• K- 12 summer school (July 6)
• Other nonresidential programs, community colleges (July/Aug)
• Graduate programs (July/Aug)
• Undergraduate residential small scale pilot programs (July/Aug)
During Phase 2, those who are at-risk and those who are 65 and older are encouraged to continue to stay home and stay safe.
Face masks/coverings will also be worn at all times during both Phase 2 and Phase 3, and social distancing would still be encouraged.
Phase 3 would happen four weeks after Phase 2, and would include the reopening of:
• Indoor event spaces & venues
• Indoor amusement parks & arcades
The Reopen CT Advisory Group and Gov. Lamont said they will continue to monitor several risk factors as the state continues the phases, including a second surge of outbreak, testing statuses, contact tracing, PPE supplies, and more.
For a closer look at the complete reopening plan, click here.