Governor’s COVID-19 Emergency Authority Extended to February
Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to extend the state’s coronavirus emergency by five months until Feb. 9, 2021.
The extension maintains many of the restrictions Lamont put in place that were set to expire Sept. 9 and continues his executive authority.
The governor and state agencies issued dozens of executive orders since the pandemic began in March.
Lamont’s orders have closed businesses and schools, limited the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings, and required travelers from other states to quarantine.
He said the extension gives his administration “the ability to react quickly if situations change, just like happened in April and May.”
“I didn’t want all those emergency orders to come to an end on Sept. 9, and you have a big rush in terms of what stores open and what bars stay closed and such,” Lamont said.
“We thought it was better for continuity to extend it a longer period of time.”
Orders that would expire without the extension include requirements that people wear face coverings in public and restaurants limit the number of indoor diners.
But some legislative leaders feel the extension goes too far, with both Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) expressing concerns.
Legislative leaders have a 72-hour window to rescind the extension, although Lamont’s office said the administration expects the extension to go through.
Lamont issued his first coronavirus emergency declaration in March.
It gave him broad powers to manage the state’s response to the pandemic.
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