The Connecticut COVID-19 cases are slowly creeping up. It’s mostly attributed to increased case numbers in the eastern part of the state. Nationwide Connecticut continues to be on the favorable list along with Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire. We must continue to keep our guard up and be adamant about following through with established mitigation measures. Residents must be mindful if traveling to an affected state (see Travel Requirements below).
The Connecticut Department of Public Health has distributed guidance for Halloween. We will find with the risks of the on-going pandemic that we will need to celebrate most seasonal holidays differently. The guidance states the Halloween traditions carry a high risk for spreading COVID-19; however we can reduce the risk by organizing and participating in lower or moderate risk alternatives.
It is advised to avoid: indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded together and screaming, hayrides with people from different households, and trick-or-treating where candy is handed out door-to-door or from car trunks.
It’s suggested in place of traditional trick-or-treating to participate in one-way trick-or-treating where goodie bags or a large bowl of candy are placed outside the home for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.
For those who choose to hand out candy be sure to have a face covering before answering the door and to remain 6 feet from the trick-or-treater. Place the candy inside the bag for them instead of having them take it from the bowl themselves.
The CDC has clarified that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. They also advise against wearing rubber costumes mask over a protective cloth mask because it may make it hard to breath.
A link to the Halloween guidance is at: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Communications/Guidance/Connecticut-Halloween-Guidance
Connecticut Moves into Phase 3
Taking effect Thursday October 8 Connecticut is entering into phase 3 of the reopening plan. It will ease some of the restrictions for businesses and gatherings. Governor Lamont stated “I believe we can continue to keep these rates low while also easing some of the restrictions that were enacted this year”. The changes include:
- Increasing from 50% to 75% the indoor capacity for restaurants, personal services, hair salons, barber shops and libraries.
- Bars and nightclubs remain closed
- Commercial establishments and places of business can open to 50% capacity, although are capped at 100.
- Private indoor residential functions remain at 25 people (no change from phase 2).
- Places of worship can increase their indoor capacity to 50% and are capped at 200 people (masks and distancing required).
For those entering the state from affected states or countries (those with unacceptably high infection rates of 10% or more) can avoid 14-day quarantine if they show proof of a negative COVID PCR test within three days prior to arriving here. It is however safest if you get tested upon entering Connecticut where you must self-quarantine until favorable results are received. Those choosing to not get tested must quarantine for 14 days.
For a list of the current states listed see link: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel. In addition, anyone entering from one of the identified states must fill out a travel health form upon arrival. Travelers can fill out the form at https://appengine.egov.com/apps/ct/DPH/Connecticut-Travel-Health-Form. Failure to self-quarantine or fill out the form may result in a $1,000 penalty for each violation.
Redding Town Hall Opens for Those with Appointments
Redding Town Hall has resumed welcoming walk-in visitors by appointment. Visitors are asked to call the department they would like to visit and set up a date and time. All must wear face coverings and visitors will be asked answer questions on their health and any recent travel. Many have found that Departments have been able to provide service for most needs through email, telephone, and sending scanned documents, so a visit may not be necessary.
The CT Department of Public Health recommends the polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) for those who are symptom free. Results can take 2-4 days. The rapid or antigen test can be used for those with symptoms. The following is a list of locations in the Redding area where we can be tested: https://www.211ct.org/search?terms=COVID-19%20Diagnostic%20Tests&page=1&location=06896&taxonomy_code=11048&service_area=redding
The nearest locations are:
Community Health Center, 8 Delay Street, Danbury CT 203-797-8330*
CVS Pharmacy 7 Durant Ave, Bethel, CT 203-794-9500*
DOCS Medical Group 6 Stony Hill Rd Bethel, CT 860-717-0335
*PCR test available
The Redding Health Department