STAMFORD, CT — Mayor David Martin announced Thursday the city will return to "phase 2" of reopening following an increase in cases of the coronavirus in the city and across the state.
According to the state health department's COVID-19 data tracker, Stamford is now at 15.6 cases per 100,000, qualifying the city as a "red zone," Martin said in a news release.
The city also recently received data from the Wastewater Early Detection Program indicating the highest levels of COVID-19 residue in Stamford's wastewater since the program began in August, Martin said.
"This is a difficult decision," Martin said in a statement, "but every indicator we're monitoring suggests we're at the beginning of a second wave. Unfortunately, this means we must change our behavior immediately."
Martin also emphasized the urgency of residents increasing their caution as the city transitions back to phase 2.
"This second wave is no longer speculative or a possibility, it is happening right now," Martin said. "There is no feasible way to get our community and economy close to normal if everyone is getting sick. I am reluctant to make this decision because I know how it will impact our businesses and community, but the city of Stamford must rollback to phase 2 as soon as possible."
Similar to phase 3, residents are required to maintain 6 feet of distance from others, wash or sanitize their hands frequently and wear either a mask or a face covering that covers both their nose and mouth.
The following restrictions are also in place under phase 2:
Restaurants: Up to 50% capacity indoors, with 6 feet of spacing and/or nonporous barriers.
Personal Services: Up to 50% capacity indoors with 6 feet of spacing and/or nonporous barriers.
Libraries: Up to 50% capacity indoors.
Indoors: Limited to 25 people.
Outdoors: Limited to 100 people.
Indoors: Limited to 25 percent of building capacity, no more than 100 people total.
Outdoors: Limited to 150 people total.
Indoor performing arts theaters: Closed.
A full list of restrictions during phase 2, including specific guidelines for various businesses and establishments, can be found on the city website.
According to Jennifer Calder, the city's director of health, the best defense against this virus is to avoid getting infected and avoid activities that could lead to infection.
"Any interaction with individuals outside your household puts you at risk," Calder said in a statement. "This is especially true now as we report more cases per day. While many residents are fatigued of health and safety guidelines, unfortunately the virus does not get fatigued and will continue to spread if we let it."
Residents can monitor daily coronavirus cases by visiting the state health department's COVID-19 data tracker.