By Mary Rose Corkery
Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont explained Friday why he’s lifting some COVID-19 business restrictions during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”
Lamont explained the state’s “been carefully reopening since May,” explaining that the majority of schools are fully operating five days a week and restaurants and retail stores are already operating at 50% capacity.
“Given the fact that we have so many of our people, well over 20% have been vaccinated, the vast majority of whom are over 55, where you’re most likely to suffer complications or hospitalization is down,” Lamont said. “So we thought this is something we know it works and maintaining the masks and the social distancing reinforces that we’re still — still know that we have a way to go.”
Lamont announced Thursday the state is keeping certain COVID-19 measures, including mask wearing, but certain restrictions will be lifted on various dates, according to a press release. Starting March 19, up to 25 people will be able to gather inside private residences and 100 people will be able to gather outside.
Commercial venues will be allowed to hold 100 people inside and 200 people outside starting on the same date, the press release said. Masks, cleaning measures and social distancing will still be mandatory.
Lamont said the government is keeping the mandate of six feet in social distancing and said that won’t change for the state’s restaurants.
“I can’t mandate common sense so people are gonna use their judgment. But we thought 25 was a reasonable number and if something happened, we can track and trace,” Lamont said.
Montana governor criticizes Biden’s ‘name-calling,’ says the state is returning to normal
Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said Friday that the state is returning to normal and criticized President Joe Biden’s “name-calling.”
“For a president that called for unity to degrade himself to name-calling doesn’t make any sense at all,” Gianforte said on Fox News’ “Fox And Friends.”
Gianforte said his administration is “working to protect our most vulnerable, we lifted the mask mandate, we prioritized taking care of the people that are in most need and we’re getting great results.”
“Hospitalizations are down and Montana’s open for business. We’re getting back to normal,” Gianforte said.
“The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters,” Biden said Wednesday.
Biden said he’s hopeful everyone knows masks are effective and said the U.S. is on the verge of “fundamentally” altering the course of the pandemic due to the vaccines.
The president also said vaccines for every American adult would be available by May.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” Gianforte said Friday. “I trust Montanans with their own health and that of their loved ones. But we’ve gotta shift away from these impractical mandates, one-size-fits-all.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that the state’s businesses can return to full operation March 10. Abbot also rescinded the requirement to wear masks in public, according to The Dallas Morning News.
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