BETHEL, CT — The state Department of Public Health has named Bethel a coronavirus orange zone community.
The color code means that 10-14 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population per day, over a two-week average, have been reported in the town. The town's current case rate is 13.8.
First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said that health officials had identified the main sources of the infection spread in Bethel as sporting events, within families, and gatherings where people have become less diligent about distancing and mask-wearing.
On Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that towns in the orange zone can opt to revert to phase 2 reopening restrictions in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. Red zone towns (15-plus cases per 100,000) had that option since the color coding program's inception.
"If the rate of infections continues to rise, the result may be that some restrictions that had recently been relaxed will need to be put back in place," Knickerbocker posted to the town website.
Bethel has had a total of 392 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began. There was a spike of 16 cases reported Wednesday, and 26 cases over the past seven days.
The town is urging residents to follow these guidelines:
Limit social gatherings, practice distancing and always wear a mask when around other people, even if they are members of your family if they have been places where they could have been exposed.
If you begin to feel sick, stay home, isolate yourself from your family and call your doctor.