Q&A with Commissioner David Lehman
News from the State Capitol
COVID-19 Update
News and Notes around Connecticut


As COVID-19 capacity limits are lifted in Connecticut as of today, March 19, CRMA exclusively shared key questions with David Lehman, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Economic Development:


CRMA: Given this new announcement, will the Safe Store Guidelines that were put in place for the Re-open in May remain?

No, these guidelines should be used as best practices.   Businesses should refer to the updated Sector Rules page for the latest requirements.  


CRMA: More specifically, will fitting rooms remain open? After customers try on clothing, do those items need to remain quarantined for 24 hours?

Yes, fitting rooms will remain open. The clothing quarantine is now only a recommendation – not a requirement.


CRMA: Will malls be permitted to reinstate valet services?

Yes, the only requirements for malls are what is detailed on our updated Sector Rules page for all businesses.


CRMA: Will the relevant state websites continue to be updated as guidelines or protocols change? And which sites would you direct our members to got to if they have questions?

We will continue to update the Sector Rules page as needed, but I expect changes will be less frequent as we loosen restrictions.


CRMA: Will enforcement of mask wearing still be handled by local officials?  Should people who have been vaccinated continue to wear masks?

Yes, local officials will still handle enforcement, and yes, people who have already been vaccinated should continue to wear masks. Wearing a mask in public is still a state requirement until further notice as the science is still unclear on if vaccinated persons can contract and spread the virus even though they are unlikely to become ill.


CRMA: From your standpoint, what is most important for retailers to keep in mind as capacity limits are lifted? 

As we begin to ease restrictions, I would just remind everyone that safety measures are still very important. Our requirements are the baseline for what is expected, but retailers are encouraged to go above and beyond to keep their employees and customers safe as we work to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Thank you for your adherence to state guidance throughout this pandemic thus far, and we appreciate your continued attention to safety.


Thank you, Commissioner Lehman.


News from the State Capitol

  • CRMA members testified against a proposed digital advertising tax.  Joining Tim Phelan were David Director of Connecticut Lighting Centers, Marc Green of Lux, Bond & Green, and Jody Moreault of Moreault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon.  CTNewsJunkie reports on the Finance Committee public hearing, here.
  • The state House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to ensure the General Assembly has an equal voice with Gov. Ned Lamont in carving up more than $2.6 billion in new federal pandemic relief headed Connecticut’s way.  CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf has the details here.
  • Gov. Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to no broad-based new taxes and predictable state budgets in a discussion with CBIA.  New Haven BIZ has the details here.
  • Patricia Billie Miller won a special election to the State Senate, breaking ground for that Chamber – the first time two Black women were serving simultaneously.  The former State Rep. has been sworn in and taken her seat.  CT Mirror highlights her victory here.
  • Gov. Lamont set Tuesday, April 27 for a special election to fill a vacancy for State Representative in the 145th District. The seat, which includes portions of Stamford, became vacant following Patricia Billie Miller’s election to the State Senate.  The announcement can be seen here.
  • Gov. Lamont and the Native American Tribal Governments reached a 10-year deal, which will require legislative approval, to open Connecticut to the largest expansion of gambling since the opening of Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun more than 20 years ago.  CT Mirror reports on the plan here.


COVID-19 Update

  • Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccination plan begins a major expansion today, with residents and those who work in the state who are 45 and older becoming eligible to sign up for vaccination. The Hartford Courant has the latest here.
  • Lamont said yesterday that about one-third of adults in Connecticut have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. NBC Connecticut has that update from the Governor’s news conference here.


News and Notes around Connecticut

  • The state’s unemployment rate edged lower in January to 8.1%, even though jobs were lost during the month, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
  • Connecticut’s single-family housing market had its strongest January in 15 years, according to real estate publisher and data tracker The Warren Group.