HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Several governors have joined together to talk about when a sense of normalcy may return to their states.
Monday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont was joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Delaware Gov. John Carney, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo for a conference call.
The governors announced a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work.
The group will be compromised of one health expert, one economic development expert and a respective chief of staff from each state. They will work together to develop a framework to gradually lift the states' stay at home orders.
“One thing that’s undeniable is that this virus does not stop at the border of any county, state, or country, but the impact is the same when it comes to our respective economies and healthcare systems. Working as a regional coalition to make the right decisions will lead to the best public health results for all of our residents. We must solve these problems together," Lamont said.
New numbers were released on Monday and showed cases continued to rise in Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties.
However, Lamont said what was really noticeable, especially this far along into the crisis, were the numbers for the other counties. They were quite low.
It could be due to a lack of testing or to social distancing, Lamont said. Regardless, he said Connecticut is in a tough spot because the charts would signal some counties would be ready to reopen before others.
He is weighing options and listing pros and cons for reopening county by county.
Deciding when to get back to normal will be a very tough decision, he said. While the economy does need a jump start, officials need to time it perfectly, to avoid a second wave like some Asian countries experienced.
“In Singapore for example, infections are up 50 percent," Lamont said. "They’ve had to put in much stricter social distancing a second time around and that’s no good for us."
When asked about what the criteria would be, Lamont said his number one criteria was to make sure he had the hospital capacity.
"To get people back out safely without risking hospital capacity, and looking very closely at infection rates as we build out our testing, I think if we do that on a consistent basis, we are in strong position to make some determinations in about a month," he said.
While it would be a work in progress, one thing that hasn’t changed, at least for now, is a May 20 date.
"If everything is opened up in one county and closed in another you may send people to travel back and forth across the state to buy things or go to a restaurant," Lamont said. "None of that is any good for what we’re trying to accomplish."