University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz spoke about Governor Ned Lamont’s plans for reopening Connecticut beginning March 19 and what they mean for University of Connecticut students. Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty described the plans in an email sent to students on Wednesday.
Lamont’s March 4 announcement included the removal of capacity limits in several categories of establishments. As long as face coverings, social distancing and cleaning protocols are followed, establishments like restaurants and gyms will be able to operate at full capacity.
“All capacity limits will be eliminated for the following businesses, while face coverings, social distancing and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols will continue to be required: restaurants (8-person table capacity and 11 p.m. required closing time for dining rooms continues), retail, libraries, personal services, indoor recreation (excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50% capacity), gyms/fitness centers, museums, aquariums, and zoos, offices, houses of worship,” the announcement reads.
In a recent email sent to the student body, Daugherty said beginning UConn will fall in line with Lamont’s plans beginning March 19. She said despite the increase in maximum capacity, some events will remain limited to account for social distancing.
“In accordance with the Governor’s recent announcement, additional capacity changes for the blue designation for indoor and outdoor events will go into effect on March 19 and April 2,” her email reads. “Although maximum event/activity capacities will be increased, we may still need to limit some event capacities based on room limitations when applying 6-foot physical distancing.”
Reitz said UConn supports Lamont’s plans for precautionary measures. She said many UConn students will not qualify for the vaccine until May, so UConn’s campus will not have high levels of immunization until later into 2021.
“UConn follows and supports the state’s plans and protocols for social distancing, wearing masks and other precautions,” Reitz said. “Although many Connecticut residents are eligible to receive the vaccine, the group that comprises college-age students will not qualify until May, meaning the campus population will not have high levels of immunization until later this year.”
Reitz stressed the importance of continuing to follow health and safety protocols while people continue to be vaccinated. She said they are vital for students to protect both themselves and others.
“With that being the case, it is important for members of our campus communities to continue to observe health and safety protocols to protect each other and themselves,” Reitz said.