- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
As the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to increase in Connecticut and across the country, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday he is considering new restrictions for travelers entering the state.
“I’ve got to talk to my neighboring governors,” Lamont said. “Right now there’s nothing anticipated, but we’re looking at what’s going on in those states in the south that are much more infected than we are.”
For now, Lamont said, he simply advises caution for travelers going to or coming from places with high rates of COVID-19 cases.
“It’s probably not a really good week to go to Missouri or Arkansas, is my sense,” the governor said. “I’d probably skip Florida as well.”
Earlier in the pandemic, Connecticut required travelers from high-risk states to quarantine upon arrival in the state. That requirement was lifted in May, as Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers decreased.
Despite a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Lamont said he has no other control measures planned, arguing that “nobody wants mandates.” That means there is no imminent plan to restore masking requirements for vaccinated people, as officials in some places, including Los Angeles, St. Louis and Cape Cod, have done.
In May, Lamont ended nearly all pandemic-related restrictions, leaving only a requirement that unvaccinated people wear masks in public and that vaccinated people wear them in select settings such as at health care facilities and on public transportation.
But as the Delta variant has taken hold in Connecticut, the state has seen an increase in cases, hospitalizations and positivity rate. As of Monday, the state’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate was its highest since May 2, and it hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have jumped to 108, a number not seen since late May.
Though officials say the vast majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, experts warn that vaccinated people face some risk of infection as well. Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said Monday that the state had recorded about 900 COVID-19 cases and 21 coronavirus-linked deaths among vaccinated people, out of more than 2 million vaccinated residents.
In place of restrictions, Lamont has urged that all residents seek a COVID-19 vaccine. Appearing Monday at a vaccine clinic on the New Haven Green, the governor stressed the importance of vaccination, including for young people.
“It’s not just about you, it’s about all the people you’re in contact with,” he said. “It’s about doing everything we can to keep you healthy so that your class is healthy, so that your team is health, so that we get through this faster.”
Lamont gave no indication he would mandate vaccination for state employees, as California and New York City have announced they intend to.
As of Monday, 69% of all Connecticut residents and 79% of those 12 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 63% of all residents and 72% of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As Lamont spoke Monday morning, New Haven resident Shahkim Khalil got his first vaccine shot at the clinic run by the New Haven health department on the city green.
“One, I work in the food industry; two, I’ve got a 9-year-old; and three, there’s a worse strain that’s out right now,” Khalil said when asked why he’d chosen to be vaccinated. “It’s best to be prepared. I’m not trying to leave my son alone.”
Alex Putterman can be reached at email@example.com.