Health & Fitness

CT Issues Guidelines For Christmas, New Year's Gatherings

Holiday travel to Connecticut is expected to exceed that of Thanksgiving, and that has Gov. Ned Lamont worried.

Gov. Ned Lamont said the data he has seen regarding travel into the state through the end of the year shows an increase in flights compared to Thanksgiving, and "that could be a worry."
Gov. Ned Lamont said the data he has seen regarding travel into the state through the end of the year shows an increase in flights compared to Thanksgiving, and "that could be a worry." (Shutterstock)

CONNECTICUT — Having just weathered the spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations following Thanksgiving, Gov. Ned Lamont is now concerned about Christmas and New Year's.

The governor said there are clear correlations between increased gatherings and travel, and flare-ups of the virus.

"So I'm scared," Lamont said during a news conference Wednesday. "I am urging with every bone in my body to ask people to be cautious a little bit longer, and that's how we get through this."

Lamont said the data he has seen regarding travel into the state through the end of the year shows an increase flights scheduled compared to Thanksgiving, and "that could be a worry."

The governor's "strong advice" for residents is to celebrate the holidays with just their immediate family.

"I urge people to stay close to their homes," Lamont said. "If we are really strict now, we're going to have real benefits early in the spring."

Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, advised Connecticut residents celebrating the holidays outside their homes to wear a mask, even indoors, and keep a safe distance from others when not wearing a mask.


Coronavirus hospitalizations in the state decreased overnight Tuesday by four beds, according to the latest state data. The positive test rate stood at an ominous 6.08 percent. A total of 1,745 more cases were announced Tuesday and 28,699 more residents were tested. There were 32 more deaths reported.

Amid reports of a new coronavirus strain appearing in the United Kingdom, Lamont said he was glad New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy were strictly enforcing travel regulations. Connecticut Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe made it clear the state had no plans to "send police to people's homes or hotel rooms."

Lamont touted a month-old volunteer program, "Step up Connecticut," with bolstering the state's emergency preparedness. Over 1,000 substitute teachers, 400 temporary nurse aides, 300 medical volunteers and 300 non-medical volunteers are on standby to assist schools and health care facilities with any overflow of coronavirus cases.

More than 16,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in hospitals, Lamont said, and a third of nursing home residents in the state have received their first vaccinations. Health care workers are receiving the vaccine at 76 locations, he said. Two-thirds of the state's nursing home population is expected to be inoculated by the end of next week, Lamont said, claiming the state "has vaccinated as many people, per capita, as any state in the country."

Gifford said the state does not yet have enough vaccine doses to inoculate every health care worker, and has asked facilities to prioritize emergency room and intensive care staff.

"There will be patience required on behalf of everybody," Gifford said.

Pfizer has a deal with the government to double the state's supply of its vaccine, Lamont said, but he had no indication of exactly how soon the next set of vials will be delivered, estimating it will be "later in the winter or early spring."

Lamont said he is expecting the state will receive about $250 million for renter relief as part of the new federal coronavirus stimulus package. That "could take a few weeks," according to the governor, who expressed concern President Donald Trump's reticence to sign the bill will delay the process.

The towns with the most new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours are:

1. Danbury: 127

2. Hartford: 71

3. New Britain: 68

4. Bridgeport: 58

5. Norwalk: 57

6. Waterbury: 57

7. Meriden: 54

8. Stamford: 54

9. New Haven: 43

10. New Milford: 40

The towns with the most new coronavirus cases over the past seven days are:

1. Hartford: 536

2. Waterbury: 529

3. Danbury: 484

4. Stamford: 439

5. Bridgeport: 375

6. New Britain: 361

7. Meriden: 306

8. Norwalk: 274

9. Bristol: 267

10. East Hartford: 233


The rules of replying:

  • Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated.
  • Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims.
  • Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic.
  • Review the Patch Community Guidelines.
See more local news

Loading...