Question 5

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 Q. What regulations are expected to be in effect during the holidays as far as gathering sizes of personal family celebrations and religious services?  Will community members be prohibited from celebrating as a large family or with their congregation of faith? What are suggestions for alternative gatherings outside of the traditional large multi-generational family gathering or house of worship services?

A. As of Nov. 6, the state rolled back some restrictions to contain the spread of COVID, including limiting outdoor and indoor private gatherings to 10 people.

Under these new restrictions:

  • Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity indoors; maximum of 6 people per table and must close by 10 p.m.
  • Event venues are limited to 25 indoors, 50 outdoors.
  • Performing arts and movie theaters maximum capacity 100 people.
  • Personal services, such as hairdressers and barber shops, remain at 75% capacity.
  • Religious gatherings must adhere to a 50% capacity, or a maximum of 100 people. Virtual services are encouraged.

Gov. Ned Lamont said on Nov. 16 that he plans to let those changes sink in before considering any additional restrictions. “We just went back to 50% capacity, closing by 10 o’clock,” Lamont said. “Let’s see how this is working out over the next week or so and let’s see what the infection rate is.”

But the governor made it clear that the state’s plan could change if cases continue to spike. For the most up-to-date guidance, go here.

DPH issued a statewide public health advisory urging residents to limit any non-essential trips outside the home between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in order to reduce the risk of the transmissions of the virus. Essential workers are exempt from the advisory.

The CDC recently updated its guidance regarding close contact. It had previously defined a “close contact” as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. The updated guidance now defines a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

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