Photo of Senator Kushner.

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Representing Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman

Democratic State Senators Ask Governor Lamont to Delay Plans to Phase Out Connecticut's COVID-19 Restrictions on May 20th


Today, a coalition of Senate Democrats including State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), State Senator Alex Kasser (D-Greenwich), State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury), State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden), State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly), State Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven), State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) and State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford), wrote a letter to Governor Ned Lamont urging him to delay his plans to phase out Connecticut’s COVID-19 restrictions that begin on May 20. They say while Connecticut is on the right track in terms of testing capacity and the number of hospitalizations and deaths, the transmission of COVID-19 is still occurring and some areas in the state are still seeing an increase in positive cases.

They wrote that they are all “anxious to reopen Connecticut’s economy and generally agree with the metrics laid out” but have a fear if it is done too soon while the first wave of the pandemic is still raging, “it will add fuel to the first wave, delaying our eventual recovery.”

The letter joins another letter sent by Democratic Senators this week which expressed concern about the criteria and pace of the Reopen CT strategy as currently defined.

The full letter to Governor Ned Lamont reads as follows:


Dear Governor Lamont,

We are writing to urge you to delay your plans to phase out Connecticut's COVID-19 restrictions starting May 20.

On March 19, the day you ordered the closure of barbershops and hairsalons, Connecticut reported 63 new positive cases of COVID-19.

Yesterday, Connecticut reported 522 new cases.

While Connecticut is moving in the right direction in terms of testing capacity, hospitalizations and deaths, the number of new positive tests, while down from the peak, indicates that community transmission of COVID-19 is still occurring in Connecticut at levels far beyond our ability to track, trace and isolate potential contacts.

Some areas of the state outside Fairfield County are still seeing increases.

Moreover, Connecticut has still not implemented widescale testing of essential workers, let alone of the population as a whole, nor do we have a statewide track and trace system in place or universal testing of our most vulnerable populations in congregate settings.

We are all anxious to reopen Connecticut's economy and we generally agree with the metrics you laid out in your Reopen CT plan, metrics that have yet to be achieved. While this is first and foremost a public health crisis, we are well aware of the economic impact on families and businesses and the state as a whole. Reopening is essential – but to do it while the first wave of the pandemic is still raging will not lead to a second wave, it will simply add fuel to the first wave, delaying our eventual recovery.

We are grateful for your strong and thoughtful leadership during one of the most difficult periods of our state's history – and ready to work with you to protect our state and its residents during the weeks and months ahead.

Sincerely,

Senator Matt Lesser
Senator Alex Kasser
Senator Julie Kushner
Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams
Senator Mae Flexer
Senator Gary Winfield
Senator Saud Anwar
Senator Christine Cohen
Senator Joan Hartley


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