Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Friday extending deadlines mandating people largely stay at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic to May 20.
Lamont, a Democrat, left open the possibility of extending the deadlines even longer.
“This is no doubt a difficult situation, but I cannot stress enough that these actions are saving lives by staying home,” he said in a statement.
“While data is starting to show a flattening of the curve, we’re not out of the woods. Returning to normal too soon will have too many negative consequences.”
Lamont told a briefing on Friday that people are “fighting a war” against COVID-19. He’s received texts and emails recently from small business owners wanting to re-open their stores and told them that “this silent enemy doesn’t just surrender.”
The war won’t be won until a vaccine is made available, Lamont alleged, also referencing recent advances on antibody testing.
Extending the deadlines for over five weeks past April 10, the day of the signing, is unusual. Most governors have opted to issue orders for two weeks at a time and extended them for another two weeks as needed, a method the federal government has also used. Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a similar order earlier this month that goes into June.
Ryan Tucker, a senior counsel for the Center for Christian Ministries with Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Epoch Times this week that a better path is issuing shorter orders and extending them as needed.
“One of the problems we have is, some of these orders that come out are, they’re framed as temporary. But how do you know 70 days in advance what the landscape is going to look like in your particular area,” Tucker said.
“I don’t think you can accurately frame restriction on a long-term basis and say, well, it’s temporary because I have the right to rescind it. I think that presents a problem.”
A smattering of lawsuits have already been filed against some restrictions. The longer the restrictions go on, Tucker added, the more likely there will be additional legal action.
Lamont’s order requires all non-essential businesses to close or operate under limited conditions, such as allowing restaurants and bars offer take-out and delivery services but not have customers dine inside the buildings. It also orders residents stay at home except for essential trips, which include forays for food, medicine, and healthcare.
As of April 9, Connecticut had 9,784 confirmed cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. So far, 1,464 patients were hospitalized and 380 patients have died from COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.