Lamont relaxes COVID-19 restrictions as case rates stabilize

Great Hollow Lake will be available for fishing as the lake thaws

MONROE, CT — Monroe’s rate of new COVID-19 cases stabilized as Gov. Ned Lamont loosens restrictions in Connecticut.

Though masks and social distancing restrictions remain in place, First Selectman Ken Kellogg said Lamont announced a significant relaxation of  restrictions, which will take effect on March 19.

Among them, capacity limits will be eliminated for most venues, such as restaurants, retail, personal services, gyms and houses of worship; and restaurants will have an eight-person table capacity and an 11 p.m. required closing time for their dining rooms.

Gathering sizes will be revised as follows:

  • Private residences: 25 indoors/100 outdoors
  • Commercial venues: 100 indoors/200 outdoors
  • All sports will be allowed to practice and compete, and all sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to state Department of Public Health guidance.
  • Connecticut’s travel advisory will be changed from the current mandate to a recommendation.

“By executive order, fishing season has been opened early,” Kellogg said. “Great Hollow Lake will be available for fishing as the lake thaws. We will be stocking the lake in the near future.”

Rates of infection

“Our two-week rolling case rate in Monroe remains at an average of 2.5 new cases per day,” Kellogg said in his weekly update Friday. “Our two-week case rate remains at 13.6 cases per 100,000 population.”

As of Thursday, the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s report showed Monroe has had 1,080 cases and 13 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The first selectman said 17.3 percent of Monroe’s population has received at least one vaccination, which is very close to the statewide rate of 17.9 percent.

“The state is working to start up a mass vaccination site for all eligible individuals in the greater Bridgeport area,” Kellogg said. “We hope that further information will be available soon.”

The state advised local health departments to focus on educators, child care providers and previously scheduled clinics for second doses, according to Kellogg.

“While the Monroe Health Department is eager to continue offering vaccinations, we are currently limited based upon this state directive and the amount vaccine we receive,” he said.

Kellogg said town officials strongly encourage residents to use all options that are currently available, which can be found by visiting the state’s website.

“We will continue to post our vaccination standby list each Monday morning between 8 and 8:30 a.m.” Kellogg said. “You must be eligible and registered in VAMS.”

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