State COVID-19 Update May 4: Gov. Focused on Reopening, but Warned ‘May Be Too Soon’ by Lawmaker/Physician

During his daily briefing Monday on the state’s coronavirus response, Gov. Ned Lamont reported that COVID-19 hospitalization case numbers have continued to decline for the 12th day in a row–a trend the governor said was a positive indicator for the state’s ability to move forward with “a prudent way to reopen.”

The governor hopes to do just that on May 20, especially for small businesses. Being able to get the state’s economy going again would take careful planning and execution, something the governor said his team is working on.

Appearing with Lamont (by Zoom) were two lawmakers–both of whom do double duty as physicians on the frontline. One of the doctors, State Sen. Dr. Saud Anwar, wasn’t as eager as the governor about opening in three weeks, as he talked about what he sees day-to-day working in the ICU with COVID-19 patients.

“While I know your vision is to have May 20 to be opening time, I’m a little bit concerned from a medical point of view for that, and hopefully we can talk about that aspect,” Anwar said.

His colleague, State Sen. Dr. Wiliam Petit, suggested starting up the business sector could happen if residents were cautious and followed doctor’s orders.

“Some people want to open up the state tomorrow, and I say, ‘You have to understand this is incredibly dangerous. The contagiousness factor…once you’re out 10 people removed from an initial case, you can impact upwards of 10,000 people,'” Pettit cautioned. He later added, “We can begin to have plans to reopen but we have to do it cautiously so we don’t see a resurgence of the disease. What everybody out in the community needs is specific guidelines so that they can follow those guidelines to minimize our risks.”

To people who might question whether the strict rules and procedures are necessary and ask, “Aren’t we over this?” Lamont had a message:  No, we’re not over this.”

“Look, hope for the best plan for the worst. I’m not sure what’s going to happen this fall; I’ve heard a lot of predictions from the different experts. That’s why we’re being cautious about reopening and I want to be ready if there was another small surge later on this year,” Lamont added.

Lamont later added that once the state reopened, it would be necessary to continue to monitor and respond accordingly to any resurgence.

“If you find on May 27 that we’ve had some flare-ups and it looks like nail salons are risky, we can always throttle it back,” Lamont said. “But I hope we don’t have to do that.”

Federal Government’s Help–PPE and PPP

Lamont also credited the federal government for its PPP loan program, supporting small businesses in CT. According to the governor, businesses in the state “did well in the first round; in the second round we did very well. We had over 30,000 CT companies get a PPP forgivable loan in this round–that’s $2.5 billion more to the state,” he said.

Lamont also was encouraged that the state has begun to see more personal protective equipment arrive in the state. “Finally the PPE is beginning to flow, and it’s coming from the national stockpile.” From that supply, PPE will be sent to nursing homes around Connecticut over the course of the next week or two.

Again he reiterated the need for following social distancing behaviors, quoting something said by Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, during his weekly call with the Task Force and other governors around the country.

“Whatever you hear coming out of the healthcare community, whatever you hear in terms of therapies, whatever you hear about vaccines (when and if they come around), Dr. Birx was very clear at the end of our call:  these are all hopeful signs, but nothing is more effective and more tried and true than making sure you stay true to the important discipline of social distancing that you need. 1. Hygiene; 2. Don’t be dismissive of the mask. 3  Timing:  wonder where you are as a state; and 4. Crowding–stay out of crowded situations as best you can.

By the Numbers (May 4)

Connecticut day-to-day newly reported data on cases, deaths, and tests

  • Total Wilton cases:  162* (+2 )
  • Total Wilton fatalities:  33  (0)
  • New one-day positive cases in CT residents:  661*   
    • May 2:  523
    • May 1:  1,064
    • April 30:  933
  • Total CT cases:   29,973*
  • COVID-19 tests reported:   105,330*  (+2,837)
    • May 2:  102,493 (+2,236)
    • May 1:  100,257  (+3,124)
    • April 30:  97,133  (+2,315)
  • Total People currently hospitalized:   1,464  (-24)
    • May 3:  1,488 (-63)
    • May 2:  1,551  (-41)
    • May 1:  1,592  (-58)
    • April 30:  1,650  (-41)
    • April 29:  1,691  (-41)
    • April 28:  1,732 (-26)
    • April 27:  1,758  (-8)
    • April 26:  1,766  (-44)
    • April 25:  1,810 (-67)
    • April 24:  1,877 (-70)
    • April 23:  1,947 (-25)
  • Total Fairfield County Hospitalizations:   507  (-7)
    • May 3:  514 (-11)
    • May 2:  525  (-12)
    • May 1:  537  (-28)
    • April 30:  565  (-26)
    • April 29:  591  (-29)
    • April 28:  620  (-7)
    • April 27:  627  (-8)
    • April 26:  635  (-14)
    • April 25:  649  (-45)
    • April 24:  694  (-36)
    • April 23:  730  (-19)
  • Total Fairfield County cases:   12,245*  (+444)
    • May 2:  11,801  (+189)
    • May 1:  11,612  (+418)
    • April 30:  11,294  (+309)
  • Total CT fatalities due to complications from COVID-19:   2,556  (+61)
    • May 3:  2,495 (+59)
    • May 2:  2,436  (+97)
    • May 1:  2,339  (+82)
    • April 30:  2,257  (+89)
  • Total Fairfield County Deaths:    910  (+24)
    • May 3:  886  (+21)
    • May 2:  865  (+26)
    • May 1:  839  (+29)
    • April 30:  810  (+36)

It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. All data in this report are preliminary, and data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Numbers with an asterisk (*) denote two-day totals over May 3-4.

Visit the state’s coronavirus webpage for several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups.

 

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 910