COVID-19 UPDATE

Posted on

7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 267 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 3,824. To date, more than 18,300 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 827 patients have been hospitalized. The total statewide total number of fatalities is 112.

A county-by-county breakdown includes:

County Laboratory Confirmed Cases Hospitalized Cases Deaths
Fairfield County 2,132 381 65
Hartford County 539 136 13
Litchfield County 141 11 2
Middlesex County 74 11 3
New Haven County 647 274 17
New London County 29 9 1
Tolland County 67 2 10
Windham County 21 3 0
Pending address validation 174 0 1
Total 3,824 827 112

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs 21st executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 21st since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7T enacts the following provisions:

  • Prohibition on non-essential lodging: Prohibits all hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and short-term residential rentals (including those arrange through online hosting platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo) from renting to customers for leisure or vacation purposes. Instead, lodging at these facilities must be limited to:
    • Health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers;
    • Workers engaged in transporting critical materials to hospitals;
    • Vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless;
    • Connecticut residents who need a place to self-quarantine away from family or roommates;
    • Those receiving long-term care or specialized medical treatment;
    • Connecticut residents in need of housing as a result of property damage, such as a fire;
    • Persons unable to return home because of constraints on travel; and
    • Persons engaged in providing or servicing lodging.
  • Further clarification of limits on restaurants, bars, and private clubs: Permits, under certain conditions, food establishments and liquor manufacturers to deliver alcoholic liquor and allows additional manufacturers to sell alcoholic liquor for pick-up and delivery. This will provide additional opportunities for these businesses to safely deliver their products directly to customers and reduce travel outside the home.
  • Suspension of notarization requirement related to Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Suspends the notarization requirement for certifying compliance with nondiscrimination laws for applicants seeking assistance through the recently created Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program for small businesses in order to ensure that applications can be completed and processed in an efficient manner.
  • Flexibility to maintain adequate child care infrastructure: Provides the commissioner of Early Childhood with the authority to implement a financial package to compensate emergency child care and stabilize the child care field to support providers through the emergency response.
  • Suspension of rehearing rights for temporary rate increases for certain health care providers: Enables the Department of Social Services to provide relief to various providers, including nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities for the intellectually disabled, and residential care homes, by way of a temporary rate increase to address the COVID-19 public health emergency without being subject to rehearings challenging the overall magnitude and methodology of the rate increases that can, in some case, take years to come to a conclusion and expose the state to increased costs beyond those necessary to pay the temporary rate increases.
  • Alternative to affidavits in relation to orders of protection and relief: Suspends the requirement that victims of domestic abuse sign an application for an order of protection under oath before a notary or attorney. Instead, the order enables them to sign an application outside the presence of a third party under the penalty of false statement. Governor Lamont thanks the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Judicial Branch for their input and coordination on this important matter. This order, along with additional changes the Judicial Branch intends to make to its Rules of Civil Procedure, will ensure victims of domestic abuse continue to have access to our courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access Health CT extends special enrollment period for uninsured residents to April 17

Access Health CT – Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace – today announced that it is extending the deadline for the new special enrollment period for uninsured residents to enroll in health insurance plans. The special enrollment period opened on March 19 and was originally anticipated to end April 2, however that deadline is now being extended to April 17. Anyone who enrolls during this extension period will receive coverage effective May 1.

The only way to sign up for this special enrollment period is by calling 1-855-365-2428. Telephone enrollment is available Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Individuals who lose coverage due to unemployment, experience certain other qualifying life events, or qualify for Medicaid/Children’s Health Program (CHIP), can always enroll online, in-person or over the phone and all help is free.

Nearly 1,500 people enrolled during the initial-two week special enrollment period.

For more information, read the press release issued today by Access Health CT.

Department of Social Services extends deadline to apply for winter home-heating assistance

The Department of Social Services today announced that it is extending the application period for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. Residents will now have until June 1, 2020 to apply for assistance to help cover this past winter’s heating bills (the previous deadline was May 1). For application sites and eligibility information, visit www.ct.gov/staywarm, call 2-1-1, text CTWARM to 898-211, or contact a community action agency.

Department of Social Services extends Emergency SNAP benefits to 97,000 households

The Department of Social Services is providing Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefits to nearly half of Connecticut SNAP participants on April 9 and April 20. Authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, the extra food benefits will go to approximately 97,000 households not currently receiving the maximum benefits allowed for their household size. This means that all households enrolled in SNAP will receive the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size, even if they aren’t usually eligible for the maximum benefit. For more information visit www.ct.gov/snap.

Department of Revenue Services extends filing payment deadline for gift tax returns

At the direction of Governor Lamont, the Department of Revenue Services today announced that the filing and payment deadline for gift tax returns is being extended until July 15, 2020. Gift tax returns reporting gifts made during 2019 had been due on April 15. This extension does not apply to the estate tax.

“This action, which aligns with the U.S. Treasury’s announcement of an extension at the federal level, will help support taxpayers and tax practitioners meet their responsibility to file returns and remit payments,” Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello said.

For Connecticut taxable gifts made during calendar year 2019, a donor will not pay Connecticut gift tax unless the aggregate amount of the Connecticut taxable gifts made exceeds $3.6 million.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the Department of Revenue Services.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

7:00 on Thursday April 2

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, Meeting Will Be Conducted Via Teleconference and Broadcast Live on CT-N

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, chairman of the State Bond Commission, today announced that the Bond Commission will hold a special meeting at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, to act on a number of critical items. Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 public health and civil preparedness emergency and the necessity to practice social distancing in order to ensure the safety of everybody involved, and in accordance with the open meeting requirements of Executive Order No. 7B, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference and there will be no in-person attendance permitted.

To follow the guidelines of the governor’s order and ensure the meeting is open to the public, it will be available to watch live on television via the Connecticut Network (CT-N) and through a live online video stream offered by the network. A video recording of the meeting will be published on CT-N’s website following its conclusion.

Information for the meeting:

To watch the live stream and the recorded video following the meeting, visit www.ct-n.com

7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 557 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 3,128. To date, more than 15,600 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 608 patients have been hospitalized. The total statewide total number of fatalities is 69.

In addition to the deaths related to COVID-19 that have been reported to the Department of Public Health (DPH), this update contains information on the number of deaths that have been reported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). Today, the OCME provided information on 14 additional COVID-19 related deaths that occurred during March 17 to 29. There were 16 COVID-19 related deaths on March 30, and 3 on March 31. Moving forward, deaths reported to the either the OCME or DPH will be included in the daily COVID-19 update. All data in this report are preliminary; data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Hospitalization data were collected by the Connecticut Hospital Association.

A county-by-county breakdown includes:

County Laboratory Confirmed Cases Hospitalized Cases Deaths
Fairfield County 1,870 275 38
Hartford County 393 110 7
Litchfield County 121 7 1
Middlesex County 56 5 1
New Haven County 517 202 12
New London County 27 8 1
Tolland County 56 1 7
Windham County 11 0 0
Pending address validation 77 0 2
Total 3,128 608 69

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs 19th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 19th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7R enacts the following provisions:

  • Continuation of funding for boards of education: The order requires the Connecticut State Department of Education to continue processing appropriated state grant funds intended to support boards of education through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, including ECS grants, payments for special education, and Choice programming. It also requires municipalities to continue providing funding to local boards of education as set forth in the approved annual school budgets.
  • Continuation of payment of public school staff: The order requires school districts to continue to employ, or restore to employment if already laid off, and pay school staff who are directly employed by the local or regional boards of education.
  • Preservation of student transportation services and special education providers: The order requires local boards of education and municipalities to negotiate amendments to contracts related to student transportation and special education services with the goal of continuing to make payments to transportation and special education providers so they may compensate their active employees, sustain the continuity of service when school resumes, and require the contracted company to attest and provide reasonable documentation of the fact that it is charging only the actual and reasonable cost of sustaining wage and health insurance payments for active employees and fleet.
  • Restrictions on entrance to state parks, forests, and other lands: In light of significant visitors to certain state parks in recent days, the order gives the commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection the authorization to ban visitors from entering state parks and other lands under the agency’s control after the property has reached a capacity adequate to supporting implementation of social distancing policies to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Curbside pickup of alcoholic beverages permitted: The order authorizes package stores and grocery stores to permit the sale of curbside pickup of all alcoholic beverages allowed by their permit type in any space adjacent to their permit premise and during the days and hours allowed for legal sale.

Connecticut National Guard deploys federal mobile medical station at Southern Connecticut State University

The Connecticut National Guard today activated 150 personnel to the campus of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven to help with staging and unloading a mobile medical station provided to the state by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Guard’s mission deploying the station on the campus will continue Wednesday.

Governor Lamont reaches agreement with banks and credit unions to provide mortgage payment relief

Governor Lamont today announced that his administration has reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to the state’s residents and businesses who continue to face hardship caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Under the agreement, the following relief policies are being offered by participating financial institutions:

  • 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments: Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which will allow homeowners to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments. In addition, the institutions will:
    • Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
    • Confirm approval and terms of forbearance program; and
    • Provide the opportunity to extend forbearance agreements if faced with continued hardship resulting from COVID-19.
  • Relief from fees and charges for 90 days: For at least 90 days, participating financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals.
  • No new foreclosures for 60 days: Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.
  • No credit score changes for accessing relief: For those taking advantage of this COVID-19-related relief, late or missed payments will not be shared with credit reporting agencies.

The agreement, which was negotiated on behalf of the Lamont administration by Commissioner Jorge Perez at the Connecticut Department of Banking, builds upon similar initiatives that have been enacted in recent days in California and New Jersey, and has been endorsed by the Connecticut Bankers Association and the Credit Union League of Connecticut. More than 50 credit unions and banks statewide are participating, including Webster Bank, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Bank of America, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, and Peoples United Bank. Additional financial institutions are expected to join the initiative in the coming days. The Department of Banking will maintain updated list of participating institutions on its website.

“This agreement with our financial institutions will allow Connecticut residents to obtain some relief as this public health emergency has had an impact on thousands of people in our state,” Governor Lamont said. “I thank each of these financial institutions that will provide this relief and applaud their participation in this agreement. The way we are going to get through this crisis is by working together, and this is an example of how we are going to get that done.”

For more information, read the press release issued today by Governor Lamont.

Office of Health Strategy further streamlines approval process for additional hospital beds

To further streamline the approval process for additional hospital beds to accommodate a growing number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients, the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS) today released revised guidance and is now including outpatient surgical facilities among those required to simply complete a notification form, rather than apply for a Certificate of Need (CON) waiver. The intent is to accelerate implementation of emergency planning to address the COVID-19 crisis, approve expanded facilities to meet urgent demand, and still provide OHS a mechanism to track changes. OHS is providing the state’s hospitals and outpatient surgical facilities with a revised form to submit to the agency when seeking to perform these actions.

As before, once the state’s public health emergency is lifted, all temporary approvals will be rescinded and the full statutory, CON process will be restored.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 30, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 578 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 2,571. To date, more than 14,600 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 517 people have been hospitalized. There have been another two fatalities due to complications of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total number of fatalities to 36.

A county-by-county breakdown includes:

County Laboratory Confirmed Cases Hospitalized Cases Deaths
Fairfield County 1,445 230 21
Hartford County 330 96 3
Litchfield County 113 7 1
Middlesex County 50 1 1
New Haven County 373 176 6
New London County 24 5 0
Tolland County 50 2 4
Windham County 10 0 0
Pending address validation 176 0 0
Total 2,571 517 36

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs 18th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 18th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7Q enacts the following provisions:

  • Requirement of limited group sizes in childcare: The order requires all childcare facilities to limit group sizes to no more than 10 children in one space. Any facility caring for more than 30 children must obtain approval from the Office of Early Childhood and demonstrate sufficient separation of groups within the facility. This applies to all childcare facilities, including those that are exempt from licensing requirements.
  • Enhancement of health procedures for all operating childcare programs: The order requires all children and childcare staff to be checked at the entrance of childcare facilities for any observable illness, including cough or respiratory distress, and to confirm temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. All staff must adhere to increased handwashing and health practices. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices shall be implemented. This applies to all childcare facilities, including those that are exempt from licensing requirements.
  • Authorization of remote notarization: The order eliminates all existing legal requirements to have a signature on any document witnessed by a third party, except in the case of a last will and testament. With respect to last wills and testaments, documents may now be witnessed remotely under the supervision of an attorney. In addition to removing witness requirements, any document required to be filed on the land records must contain a one-page certification, completed by a notary or commissioner of the Superior Court, reciting to the fact that the underlying document was executed pursuant to the executive order.The order also requires all town and city clerks to accept those documents for recording.

Governor Lamont forms the Governor’s Health System Response Team to coordinate response for hospitals

Governor Lamont today announced that he is forming the Governor’s Health System Response Team, which will consist of the CEOs from three of Connecticut’s largest hospital systems: Hartford HealthCare, Nuvance Health, and Yale New Haven Health.

The team, in coordination with the Connecticut Hospital Association and the state’s other hospitals, will be responsible for advising the governor, the Department of Public Health and the rest of the state’s Emergency Support Functions in the Unified Command structure on the proper allocation and distribution of needed resources, supplies, and personnel, throughout the duration of the public health emergency.

This group has already been consulting on a regular basis with the Lamont administration prior to the confirmation of the first positive case in the state, and that work will provide the foundation of the plans and actions as the state’s health care system handles an expected surge of COVID-19 cases.

“Our state is going to get through this by working together, and that includes making sure our hospitals are at the table working directly with my administration to ensure they have access to the resources they need,” Governor Lamont said. “These are experts in the healthcare field and our state is incredibly fortunate to have such experience providing counsel as we look to keep as many of our residents safe and healthy as possible.”

For more information, read the press release issued today by Governor Lamont.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide financial support for Governor Lamont’s activation of the Connecticut National Guard

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today informed the Lamont administration that it will provide 100 percent reimbursement for the costs associated with activating the Connecticut National Guard to provide the state with support in its COVID-19 emergency response. Governor Lamont activated the Guard prior to the first confirmation of a positive case in the state. This is a state activation of the Guard, meaning that Governor Lamont will continue to command Connecticut National Guard forces through Connecticut’s Adjutant General and Joint Staff.

To date the Connecticut Military Department and National Guard has:

  • Deployed two of Department of Public Health’s mobile field hospitals at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital, with a third on the way at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown;
  • Provided climate-controlled tents to two VA hospitals in West Haven and Newington;
  • Used their Guardsmen that work for major logistics companies to begin managing a warehouse to receive and distribute essential supplies;
  • Distributed protective masks, gowns, and face shields to healthcare workers and first responders; and
  • Provided medical planners to work with the Department of Public Health to find ways to surge bed capacity and do predictive analysis on how many people the virus will affect.

This week they plan to:

  • Deploy the Federal Medical Station with a capacity of 250 beds;
  • Convert large spaces at Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, and Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport into medical surge capacity with approximately 300 beds at each site; and
  • Deploy the third Department of Public Health mobile field hospital at Middlesex Hospital.

Public Health commissioner orders suspension of license renewals and payment of associated fees during pandemic

Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell today issued an order suspending the need for all DPH licensees to renew their licenses throughout the duration of the declared COVID-19 emergency. This applies to all licenses the agency administers, including those for health care facilities and practitioners. Licensees will not be required to pay the fees associated with the renewals during this time but will be required to pay such fees retroactively when the period of license renewal suspension is over. All active licenses will remain active throughout the duration of the declared emergency.

In addition, the commissioner issued a separate order today temporarily modifying the authority of subregistrars of vital statistics, who are appointed by the local registrars of vital statistics, allowing them to issue burial transit, removal, and cremation permits for any death occurring in any town within the state for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency. One limitation requires that any subregistrar who is an embalmer or funeral director may not issue a cremation permit for a deceased for whom he or she is performing funeral services.

Department of Revenue Services extends filing and payment deadlines for certain small businesses

At the direction of Governor Lamont to provide Connecticut small businesses with immediate administrative tax relief in recognition of the impact of COVID-19, the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) today announced that it granting a two-month extension of filing and payment deadlines for certain small businesses.

“The state needs to be taking all steps possible to provide relief to our small businesses, and this is a prudent step during this public health emergency,” Governor Lamont said.

Taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual sales tax liability qualify for an automatic extension of time to file and pay. Similarly, those that have $150,000 or less in annual room occupancy tax also qualify for this relief. Entities that collect both sales tax and room occupancy tax must evaluate each tax separately to determine eligibility for relief.

To determine if it is a qualified small business, entities are required to utilize a calendar year look back period of January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2019. Any taxpayer that reported $150,000 or less in tax during that period qualified for the relief.

Returns covered by this extension includes:

  • For monthly sales tax and room occupancy tax filers: Returns and payments due March 31, 2020, and April 30, 2020, are extended to May 31, 2020.
  • For quarterly sales tax and room occupancy tax filers: Returns and payments due April 30, 2020, are extended to May, 31, 2020.

“DRS acknowledges that small businesses may need additional time to access their records and consult with their tax preparer,” Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello said. “Taxpayers who file and pay on or before the extended deadlines will not be subject to any penalties or interest.”

Department of Transportation works to ensure service plazas remain open for essential drivers, closes two service plazas on Route 15 due to lack of demand

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has been working with service plaza operators to keep the plazas open as much as possible, with a priority on I-95, in order to serve trucks that are delivering needed supplies to the state. Service plazas on I-95 and I-395 remain open for truckers and essential motorists. Due to lack of demand, the rest areas on Route 15 in Orange and New Canaan have been closed effective today until further notice.

Number of health care professionals registering to volunteer with the state doubles over the weekend

The number of health care professionals who have registered with the state to volunteer their services has doubled over the weekend, reaching a total of 2,079 people who have notified the state expressing interest in volunteering. On Saturday, Governor Lamont released a PSA asking health care professionals – including students and those who are retired – to register with a state database administered by the Department of Public Health, and their services will be matched with Connecticut medical facilities in need. Those interested in volunteering can register online at ctresponds.ct.gov.

“We are seeing Connecticut ingenuity and generosity in action, and I cannot tell you how much we appreciate everyone who is helping out their neighbors in need,” Governor Lamont said.

Attorney General Tong and Consumer Protection Commissioner Seagull warn of potential COVID-19 stimulus check scams

Attorney General William Tong and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull are warning Connecticut residents to be on the lookout for potential scams involving future stimulus checks from the federal government. After the federal government enacted a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state officials’ two offices are beginning to receive reports of bad actors looking to steal American’s personal information and money.

Residents should follow these tips to prevent falling victim to a scam artist:

  • The federal government will not ask you to pay money upfront to receive a stimulus check. No fees. No charges.
  • The federal government will never call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number. Anyone who asks for this personal identifying information is a scammer.
  • No matter how the payment is disbursed, only a scammer will ask you to pay to receive it.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the Attorney General and Department of Consumer Protection.

Connecticut receives $5.4 million in federal funding under CARES Act for voting security and safety

Secretary of the State Denise Merill and the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation today announced that the State of Connecticut is receiving $5.4 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that will be used to enhance the safety of in-person voting in polling places, expand vote at home mail-in voting, and protect the security and integrity of the election and the counting of ballots. The CARES Act is providing $400 million to the states, appropriated based on population, to prepare for the impact of the coronavirus on the 2020 election cycle. The virus is forcing states to take new measures to protect the integrity of voting systems and access to the ballot box.

Earlier this month, Governor Lamont signed an executive order using his emergency authority postponing Connecticut’s presidential primary from April 28 to June 2.

For more information, read the press release issued by Secretary Merrill today.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

 5:00PM on Sunday, March 29, 2020

(HARTFORD, CT) – As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 469 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,993. To date, more than 11,900 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 404 people have been hospitalized. There has been another fatality due to complications of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total number of fatalities to 34 (21 in Fairfield County, 6 in New Haven County, 4 in Tolland County, 2 in Hartford County, and 1 in Middlesex County).

It should be noted that the increase in hospitalizations reflected in today’s report reflects a change to provide the most up-to-date information from the Connecticut Hospital Association. The distribution by county is based on where hospitals are located, not where patients reside.

A county-by-county breakdown includes:

County Laboratory Confirmed Cases Hospitalized Cases Deaths
Fairfield County 1,245 189 21
Hartford County 276 67 2
Litchfield County 87 5 0
Middlesex County 38 1 1
New Haven County 280 137 6
New London County 20 4 0
Tolland County 40 0 4
Windham County 7 1 0
Total 1,993 404 34

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Major disaster declaration approved for Connecticut

Governor Lamont’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration for the State of Connecticut in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was approved today, unlocking additional federal assistance programs for the state.

Today’s approval is for public assistance, meaning that impacted state agencies and municipalities in all eight counties will be reimbursed for 75 percent of the costs associated with their response and emergency protective measures. The governor’s other request for disaster assistance, including individual assistance that could provide Connecticut residents with a number of critical benefits, such as expanded unemployment assistance, food benefits, and child care assistance, remains under review by the White House.

For more information, read the press release Governor Lamont issued today.

Governor Lamont places order for 100 ventilators with Guilford manufacturing company Bio-Med Devices

This morning Governor Lamont visited the headquarters of Bio-Med Devices in Guilford, where he toured the manufacturing facility and executed a purchase order for 100 ventilators that will be used in hospitals throughout Connecticut. Employees at the company have been working seven days a week to keep up with demand.

“We’re working every day to ensure that our state’s hospitals have access to the resources they need to keep our residents safe and healthy, and I am proud that we are partnering with a company like Bio-Med Devices that will provide our hospitals with a critical resource that we need at this time,” Governor Lamont said.

BioMed Devices

Department of Public Health commissioner orders homeless population moved into less congested housing, directs development of temporary housing for certain first responders and health care workers

Pursuant to Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7P, which was issued yesterday evening, Department of Public Health Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell late Saturday night issued an order directing state, local, and private sector partners to transition the homeless population into alternative, less congested housing for the purpose of providing adequate social distancing between all individuals. The goal is to decompress the current population by providing less populated settings.

The order also requires the development of non-congregate temporary housing for first responders and health care workers who are at reasonable risk of having been exposed to COVID-19 and cannot return to their usual residence because of the risk of infecting other household members.

FEMA has notified the State of Connecticut that it will reimburse the state and municipalities for 75 percent of the costs related to the non-congregate housing for the homeless population, as well as first responders and health care workers.

For more information, read Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell’s order.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Saturday, March 28

Governor Ned Lamont today released the following statement:

“Regarding the President’s consideration of a quarantine of New York, as well as parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, our state has already called on residents to stay at home. Further, if interstate travel is absolutely necessary, our state has directed travelers to self-quarantine to prevent against further transmission of the virus. I have been in close communication with Governor Cuomo and Governor Murphy, and I look forward to speaking to the President directly about his comments and any further enforcement actions, because confusion leads to panic.”

9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 137 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,012. To date, more than 6,500 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 125 people have been hospitalized and there have been another 2 fatalities, bringing the total number of fatalities due to complications of COVID-19 to 21 (13 in Fairfield County, 3 in Tolland County, 2 in Hartford County, 2 in New Haven County, and 1 in Middlesex County).

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs fifteenth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the fifteenth since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7N enacts the following provisions:

  • Restricts all social and recreational gatherings to no more than five people: The order modifies the governor’s earlier executive order placing limits on the amount of people who can participate in social and recreational gatherings and reduces that number to no more than five people, through at least April 30, 2020 unless otherwise modified. This order includes, but is not limited to, community, civic, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerns; festivals; plays or live performances; conventions and similar activities; except that religious, spiritual, or worship gatherings will remain subject only to the prohibition of 50 persons or more. This does not apply to government operations, private workplaces, retail establishments, or other activities that are not social or recreational gatherings.
  • Restricts restaurant payment and pickup operations: Where reasonably practicable, the order requires restaurants, eating establishments, and any bars that remain open for sales of food for off-premise consumption to limit entrance of customers or third party delivery personnel into their locations to the minimum extent necessary to pick up and/or pay for orders, use touchless payment systems, and require remote ordering and payment. The order does not require businesses to acquire or use ordering or payment technology that they do not already have, doesn’t prohibit drive-through ordering and pickup, and doesn’t prohibit in-person payment or cash payment where this is no reasonable alternative. Previously issued guidance for hospital and business cafeterias remains in effect.
  • Further restricts retail operations: The order requires all retail establishments that have been allowed to remain open and permit customers inside to take appropriate and reasonable measures to ensure customers maintain six feet of distance between each other and to manage any resulting lines to maintain such distance while people are waiting to enter. It also requires these establishments, where reasonably practical, to employ touchless payment technology if they already have such technology available and the customer has such technology available.
  • Requires firearm transactions to be conducted by appointment only: The order requires all retail businesses that sell firearms, ammunition, and other similar components or supplies to conduct all transactions by appointment only in order to limit person-to-person contact as much as possible, effective immediately. Appointments must be limited in order to allow a six-foot distance between any customers and staff in a store, and only customers conducting such transactions will be allowed in the store.
  • Suspension of tax on single-use checkout bags: The order temporarily suspends certain state statutes in order to suspend any tax on single-use plastic checkout bags at grocery stores and other retail businesses.
  • Prohibits employers from requiring employees to place items in customers’ reusable bags: The order prohibits employers of any grocery store or retail business from requiring their employees to bag items into a customer-provided reusable bag. Customers are still permitted to use reusable bags, but they may need to bag their own items.
  • Suspends 21-month limit on Temporary Family Assistance: The order modifies certain statutes and regulations to exclude from the 21-month time limit on receipt of Temporary Family Assistance all months of such assistance received during the public health and civil preparedness emergency. Suspending the time limit for this program will help families get the time and resources they need to get back on their path to self-sufficiency after the emergency is over.
  • Suspends school testing assessments for the 2019-2020 school year: Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major disruption on schools, the order waives all annual student assessment testing requirements for the current school year.

Governor Lamont requests presidential major disaster declaration

Governor Lamont today submitted a request to FEMA for a presidential major disaster declaration for the State of Connecticut. If the disaster declaration is approved, Connecticut residents may have access to additional resources to support childcare, crisis counseling, and other needs identified as a result of the pandemic.

For more information, read the press release issued today by Governor Lamont.

Business can now apply for the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program

The emergency loan program created by Governor Lamont that provides no-interest loans to Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits hurt by the global spread of COVID-19 has now launched. Businesses and nonprofits can begin applying for the program, which was created to provide immediate assistance with cash flow. For more information, read the press release issued today by Governor Lamont.

State continues receiving donations of Personal Protective Equipment

Residents, businesses, and other organizations around Connecticut continue responding to a request for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that Governor Lamont issued last week.

Since the last update, some of the recent donations include:

  • Mercy Free Dental Clinic: Nitrile gloves, earloop masks, disinfectant wipes, Clorox bleach germicidal wipes, Clorox hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, lab coats, and isolation and patient gowns.
  • Bethel Public Schools: Nitrile gloves, earloop masks, disinfectant wipes, N95 masks, oral thermometers, oral thermometer covers, Braun Tremoscan PC200s.
  • Glastonbury Public Schools: N95 masks, children’s surgical earloop masks, adult surgical earloop masks, vinyl powder free exam gloves

Governor Lamont thanks everyone for their generous donations. Those with PPE that they would like to donate to the state’s supply for distribution in medical facilities should fill out the form on the state’s coronavirus website.

Connecticut National Guard deploys tents to expand capacity at the West Haven V.A. Medical Center

The Connecticut National Guard today deployed two climate-controlled tents on the grounds of the West Haven V.A. Medical Center for use in dealing with potential future patient overflow. The Guard is in the process of delivering two similar tents to the Newington V.A. Medical Center.

These tents are in addition to the deployment of Connecticut Department of Public Health mobile field hospitals that were set up this week on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital. A third mobile field hospital is being prepared for deployment at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown.

Department of Correction begins manufacturing facemasks for emergency use

In an effort to assist with the shortage of PPE, the Connecticut Department of Correction’s Correctional Enterprises of Connecticut Unit has developed a prototype – for mass production – of a cotton fabric facemask intended for use in situations where N95 respirators or surgical masks are not available.

The unit has the ability to convert five of its manufacturing shops for production of the masks. Full-scale manufacturing of the masks began on Monday, March 23. It is estimated that initially a combined total of 1,200 to 1,400 facemasks could be produced daily. Since Monday, the unit has produced more than 3,300 masks. It is likely that daily production will increase as the production process is streamlined.

Connecticut Insurance Department calls on auto and motorcycle insurers to extend coverage for personal delivery drivers

Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais is calling on insurers to immediately institute an extension of coverage for personal delivery drivers in light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a bulletin released today, the department is requesting that all insurance companies that offer auto and motorcycle liability insurance coverage in Connecticut immediately expand coverage for the personal use of vehicles for certain commercial purposes. This will ensure delivery workers have adequate protection while using their personal car or motorcycle to deliver food and medicine.

For more information, read the press release the department issued today.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 257 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 875. To date, more than 5,898 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 113 people have been hospitalized and there have been another 7 fatalities, bringing the total number of fatalities due to complications of COVID-19 to 19.

For charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs fourteenth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the fourteenth since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7M enacts the following provisions:

  • Authorizing state agencies to extend statutory regulatory administrative deadlines by 90 days: The order allows flexibility in meeting statutory deadlines for filings, decisions, and notice in the many permitting and other applications and administrative hearings under the purview of state agencies, and requires agencies to post any changes on their web sites.
  • Suspension of mandatory statutory filing requirements for Freedom of Information Act appeals and decisions by the Freedom of Information Commission: As many state offices transition to a telework environment, including the staff at the Freedom of Information Commission, this order suspends the time requirements for filing an appeal with the commission, and the requirement that the commission must hear and decide an appeal within one year after the filing of such appeal.
  • Tolling of time periods for Department of Transportation final determinations on permits: As the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) shifts a significant portion of its workforce to a teleworking situation, this order suspends the 90-day requirement for approving encroachment permits required for work in the “right of way” along Connecticut state roads and highways. This will avoid automatic approval of encroachment permits due to delays in receiving mail or responding to requests as staff transitions to a telework environment, and allow them to review all permit requests to ensure the activity will not pose a safety risk to the traveling public.

Mobile field hospital launching at Danbury Hospital

In coordination with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), the Governor’s Foot and Horse Guard Units today are deploying a mobile field hospital on the grounds of Danbury Hospital that is anticipated to be up and running by Thursday. It is identical to the mobile field hospital that was deployed yesterday on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford. A third mobile field hospital is anticipated to be deployed on the grounds of Middlesex Hospital in Middletown in the coming days.

The Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital, under the authority of DPH, is a state-of-the-art mobile field hospital designed to support the state’s health care system in response to significant emergencies. It is deployable in several parts as a flexible configuration 25-bed units that operate jointly or independently to provide triage and treatment anywhere in the state in the event of a mass casualty. It can also support an acute care hospital after a catastrophic structural or mechanical failure. The hospital assembles in hours and can be ready to triage and treat hundreds of patients during any public health emergency. It was named in 2006 in honor of a Connecticut woman who died from inhalational anthrax in 2001.

Governor Lamont announces launch of the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program to help small businesses and nonprofits

During his news briefing this afternoon, Governor Lamont today announced that his administration will soon launch a zero-interest loan program to help Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development and will make $25 million available to businesses and nonprofits in the state that have fewer than 100 employees. Additional eligibility information and guidance on the application process will be published soon at ct.gov/coronavirus.

Office of Health Strategy further streamlines approval and licensure process for the state’s hospitals

On the heels of Governor Lamont’s call for hospitals statewide to expand their bed capacity, and in anticipation of an increasing number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, the Connecticut Office of Healthcare Strategy (OHS) today issued an order further streamlining the approval and licensure process for the state’s hospitals. Effective immediately, hospitals in Connecticut are required to simply complete a notification form, rather than apply for a Certificate of Need waiver.

The intent is to accelerate implementation of emergency planning to address the COVID-19 crisis, provide necessary facilities to meet urgent demand, and still provide OHS a mechanism to track changes.

To read the OHS order issued today, click here.

2-1-1 hotline has handled more than 8,000 live-answer phone calls from Connecticut residents to date

Since launching its special COVID-19 hotline on March 7, United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut has taken 8,035 live-answer phone calls providing residents with general information regarding the virus, including 674 callers yesterday alone. To date, the hotline’s pre-recorded messages have been accessed 14,177 times.

Governor Lamont dispels rumors regarding state’s response to COVID-19

The Connecticut Joint Information Center, Untied Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut, and state and local police departments continue receiving phone calls and have seen social media posts with false claims about Connecticut’s borders being ordered to shut down, roads being closed, and a curfew being put into place. Governor Lamont wants to assure Connecticut residents that these rumors are not true.

The governor also wants to remind residents that there is no need to rush to the grocery store to buy items in bulk. Roads in Connecticut will continue to remain open for these necessary functions, and grocery stores will continue providing services to customers.

Connecticut Red Cross asks blood donors to make an appointment to give during this critical time

Thousands of Red Cross blood drives around the country have been canceled because of the need to reduce gatherings of large groups of people in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This has resulted in a significantly reduced amount of blood donations than the organization typically receives.

Adjusting to the situation, the Red Cross of Connecticut has set up a process for people to call ahead and make an appointment to donate blood, and proper social distancing can be practiced.

The Connecticut State Police is partnering with the Red Cross of Connecticut and will be holding a blood drive at the Police Academy in Meriden on Thursday, March 26, however it is already fully booked for appointments. A second blood drive at the Police Academy is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, and there remains several openings for blood donors to sign up. Several other appointment-only blood drives are being organized at locations throughout Connecticut.

Those who would like to give should visit www.redcrossblood.org to make an appointment.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

(HARTFORD, CT) – As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 203 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 618. To date, more than 5,300 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 71 people have been hospitalized and there have been another 2 fatalities, bringing the total number of fatalities due to complications of COVID-19 to 12.

A county-by-county breakdown includes:

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs thirteenth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the thirteenth since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7L enacts the following provisions:

  • Extends the cancellation of classes at public schools statewide through at least April 20: To promote and secure the safety and protection of children in schools related to the risks of COVID-19, the order extends the cancelation of classes at all public schools statewide through April 20, 2020. The governor notes that this date could possibly be extended further. Private schools and other non-public schools are encouraged to follow the same schedule.
  • Orders the early opening of the fishing season, effective immediately
  • Suspends restrictions on the re-employment of retired municipal employees: To enable municipalities to meet critical staffing needs caused by COVID-19 with skilled and experienced employees who require little to no additional training, the order modifies state statutes to allow certain retired employees who are in the municipal retirement system to work without any hourly or durational limitation while also continuing to receive retirement allowances.
  • Exacts flexibility to maintain adequate medical marijuana access for patients: The order modifies the state’s medical marijuana program to improve patient access and address staffing shortages in facilities. This includes permitting patients to be certified via telehealth; extending expiration dates for patient and caregiver registrations; allowing dispensary facility staff to move work locations among facilities and, with approval of the state, make adjustments to staffing ratios; and waiving the fee normally charged if someone loses or misplaces their registration certificate.
  • Extends the time period for nursing home transfers: The order extends the time allowed for an applicant to transfer from a nursing home where they were temporarily placed after their nursing home closed from sixty days after their arrival at the new facility to “not later than one year following the date that such applicant was transferred from the nursing home where he or she previously resided.”
  • Enacts flexibility in availability and registration of vital records: The order authorizes the Commissioner of Public Health to conduct birth, death and marriage registration, in order to assist local registrars of vital statistics in carrying out their duties as may be required, and to issue any implementing orders she deems necessary.
  • Suspends in-person purchase of copies of vital records at the Department of Public Health: The order suspends the requirement that the purchase of vital records at the Department of Public Health be available in person, and limits those requests to online or mail.
  • Modifies the requirement that marriage licenses be obtained in the town where the marriage will be celebrated: As municipal offices around the state are closed or have selective hours due to the COVID-19 crisis, the order permits those seeking a marriage license to obtain it in a different municipality than where it will be celebrated.

Mobile field hospital launches at Saint Francis Hospital

In coordination with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), a mobile field hospital was deployed today on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford with the assistance of the Governor’s Foot and Horse Guard.

The Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital is a state-of-the-art mobile field hospital designed to support the state’s health care system in response to significant emergencies. It is deployable as a flexible configuration of 25-bed units that operate jointly or independently to provide triage and treatment anywhere in the state in the event of a mass casualty. It can also support an acute care hospital after a catastrophic structural or mechanical failure. The hospital assembles in hours and can be ready to triage and treat hundreds of patients during any public health emergency. It was named in 2006 in honor of a Connecticut woman who died from inhalational anthrax in 2001.

Governor Lamont and DPH Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell toured the mobile unit this afternoon.

Public Health commissioner provides guidance on PPE conservation and testing strategies

Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell today sent a memo to all healthcare providers today outlining strategies for the conservation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as guidance on COVID-19 testing strategies. To read the entire memo, click here.

Department of Public Health seeks healthcare professionals to volunteer their services

DPH is asking healthcare professionals, such as retired nurses and doctors, to consider volunteering their services at a medical facility in Connecticut. Those willing to volunteer should fill out the online form located at ctresponds.ct.gov, and their information will be reviewed by staff at DPH who will connect the volunteer to a location in need. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, more than 900 nurses have already signed up to volunteer, and DPH is ready to activate more than 300.

State continues receiving PPE donations from entities across Connecticut

As part of Governor Lamont’s ongoing request for donations of Personal Protective Equipment that can be used by the medical community, the state today received several more shipments of materials, including:

  • 30 N95 masks from an anonymous donor
  • 68 N95 masks from Kilbourn Farms in Simsbury
  • 40 N95 masks from a private donor in Redding
  • 160 N95 masks and nearly 40,000 nitrile gloves from the Mohegan Sun

The governor thanks each of the donors for their generosity. The donations will be distributed based on the needs of medical facilities and first responders.

Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that are able to donate these vital materials are urged to contact the state by filling out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.

Insurance Department calls on insurers to extend a grace period for premium payments during the COVID-19 crisis

Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) Commissioner Andrew N. Mais today sent a bulletin to every insurance company in the state calling on them to immediately institute a grace period for insurance premium payments in light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commissioner is requesting that all admitted and nonadmitted insurance companies that offer any insurance coverage in Connecticut – including life, health, auto, property, casualty, and other types of insurance – to immediately provide customers with a 60-day grace period without interest or penalty to pay their insurance premiums.

For more information, see the press release CID issued today.

Connecticut National Guard continues providing logistical support to medical facilities

The Connecticut National Guard is continuing to provide logistical support to medical facilities across the state. Leadership at the Guard wants residents to be aware that if they see a man or woman in their community wearing a military uniform it is likely because they are providing assistance to ensure that health care workers have the ability to do their jobs.

As another philanthropic donor steps forward, Governor Lamont creates task force of superintendents to oversee distribution of remote learning resources

Governor Lamont today announced that the Nooyi family is making a donation of high-quality, take-home books from Scholastic that will provide reading and writing instruction to more than 185,000 prekindergarten to 8th grade students while learning from home. The books are aligned with Connecticut state learning standards, and parents are encouraged to work with students at home to complete these exercises.

This donation comes in addition to another one announced yesterday by the nonprofit Partnership of Connecticut, which will be providing up to 60,000 laptops to students from some of the state’s most under-resourced high schools.

To oversee the distribution of these resources, Governor Lamont and State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona have created the Governor’s COVID-19 Learn from Home Task Force, which will consist of several superintendents from across the state, including Paul Freeman (Guilford) and Nate Quesnel (East Hartford), who will serve as co-chairs, and Michael Connor (Middletown), Melony Brady Shanley (Winchester), Verna Ruffin (Waterbury), and Iline Tracy (New Haven), who will serve as members. Nick Simmons, Manager of Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Governor, and Desi Nesmith, Deputy Commissioner of SDE, will also serve as members. The group will be responsible for coordinating superintendents of districts that opt-in for the donations to ensure a safe and efficient distribution process of these critical learning materials to districts and families across the state.

For more information on this announcement, click here.

Governor Lamont reminds residents that Access Health CT’s special open enrollment period runs through April 2

Governor Lamont is reminding Connecticut residents who need health care that Access Health CT is running a special open enrollment period right now that closes on Thursday, April 2. Any uninsured person in the state is urged to contact the organization to begin the enrollment process by calling 855-365-2428 anytime on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The special open enrollment period was enacted due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, including an FAQ, click here.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Latest Data as of 7:00PM on Monday, March 23, 2020

Key Points:

  • Since yesterday, an additional 88 Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the statewide total to 415. More than 4,500 tests have been conducted among the state and private labs to date. Approximately 54 people are hospitalized and there have been 10 deaths.
  • Governor Lamont signed his twelfth executive order pursuant to his emergency declaration, this order:
    • Suspends non-critical probate court operations;
    • Suspends non-critical Workers’ Compensation Commission Operations;
    • Authorizes remote notarization;
    • Modifies regulatory requirements to protect public health and safety; and
    • Suspends certain requirements regarding the temporary hire of care workers at long-term care facilities.
  • The governor’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order directing non-essential workers statewide to work from home goes into effect at 8:00 p.m. tonight.
  • Drive-through testing sites have been added at 5 more hospitals, bringing the statewide total of these alternate testing locations to 21.
  • The Department of Public Health commissioner has signed an order easing the rules for out-of-state practitioners to provide services in Connecticut.
  • The state received the first shipments of PPE donations today, including N95 respirators that were generously provided by Gil’s Drywall of Plainville and PW Power Systems of Glastonbury.
  • To assist in remote learning as classes statewide remain canceled, the Partnership for Connecticut announced plans to donate more than 60,000 laptops to high school students in under-resourced districts.
  • Connecticut businesses are urged to note that the IRS is providing a “full and immediate” reimbursement for COVID-19 employee medical leave costs.

(HARTFORD, CT) – As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 88 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 415. To date, more than 4,500 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories.

A county-by-county breakdown includes:

County Laboratory Confirmed Cases Hospitalized Cases Deaths
Fairfield County 270 20 6
Hartford County 61 13 2
Litchfield County 13 2 0
Middlesex County 8 4 0
New Haven County 41 12 0
New London County 4 1 0
Tolland County 16 2 2
Windham County 2 0 0
Total 415 54 10

Since yesterday, two more Connecticut residents died from complications of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to ten. They include:

  • A man in his 50s who lived in a private residence in Norwalk and was recently hospitalized at Norwalk Hospital; and
  • A man in his 70s who lived in a private residence in Newington and was recently hospitalized at Saint Francis Hospital.

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs twelfth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the twelfth since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7K enacts the following provisions:

  • Suspension of non-critical probate court operations and associated requirements: Suspends, for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, all statutory reporting and filing requirements of the Office of the Probate Court Administrator concerning probate court operations; probate court facility, location, or venue requirements; time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations or deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings, or court filings; and all time requirements or deadlines related to the probate courts or their judicial officials to issue notices, hold court, hear matters, and/or render decisions.
  • Suspension of non-critical Workers’ Compensation Commission operations and associated requirements: Suspends, for the duration of the public health and civic preparedness emergency, all location or venue requirements; time requirements, statutes of limitation, or other limitations or deadlines; and all time requirements or deadlines of the Workers’ Compensation Commission relating to the Workers’ Compensation Act and other statutory programs and schedules over which the commission provides adjudication, dispute resolution, administrative oversight or support.
  • Authorization of remote notarization: Modifies state laws and regulations to permit any notarial act that is required under Connecticut law to be performed using an electronic device or process that allows a notary public and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other under certain conditions, including recording and live presentation of identification.
  • Suspension or modification of regulatory requirements to protect public health and safety: Permits the commissioner of Public Health to temporarily waive, modify, or suspend regulatory requirements adopted by the agency or related boards or commissions deemed necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the public health.
  • Suspension of certain requirements regarding the temporary hire of care workers at long-term care facilities: Allows long-term care facilities to temporarily hire care workers to address the critical need in these facilities without background checks of state and national criminal history records, expanding the availability of an existing statutory waiver process.

“Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order directing non-essential workers to work from home goes into effect at 8PM tonight

Governor Lamont’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions goes into effect tonight at 8:00 p.m.

The governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implement. The order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.

Businesses and nonprofits seeking direction related to the order are urged to read the guidance provided by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Drive-through testing added to 5 more hospitals, bringing the statewide total of these locations to 21

Drive-through testing sites have been added at Griffin Hospital (Derby), Norwalk Hospital, Rockville General Hospital (Vernon), UConn John Dempsey Hospital (Farmington), and William H. Backus Hospital (Norwich), bringing the total number of these alternate testing sites to 21.

The latest list of drive-through testing locations includes:

  • Bridgeport Hospital
  • Bristol Health
  • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington)
  • Danbury Hospital
  • Greenwich Hospital
  • Griffin Hospital (Derby)
  • Hartford Hospital
  • Johnson Memorial Hospital (Stafford Springs)
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital (New London)
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital
  • Mid-State Medical Center (Meriden)
  • Norwalk Hospital
  • Rockville General Hospital (Vernon)
  • Saint Francis Hospital (Hartford)
  • Saint Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury)
  • Saint Vincent Hospital (Bridgeport)
  • Stamford Hospital
  • UConn John Dempsey Hospital (Farmington)
  • Waterbury Hospital
  • William H. Backus Hospital (Norwich)
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital

No one should arrive at any of these locations and ask to be tested. Anyone experiencing symptoms must consult with their medical provider first, and then they will be referred for testing and can make an appointment at one of these facilities.

Department of Public Health Commissioner signs order easing rules for out-of-state practitioners to provide services in Connecticut

Based on concerns relative to COVID-19, Department of Public Health Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell has signed an order permitting the temporary suspension of the requirements for licensure, registration, or certification in a number of medical professions for those who have the appropriate credentials in another state. This will allow Connecticut to accept support from neighboring states and will continue the state’s collaborative, regional approach to combating COVID-19.

Practitioners should note that until further executive action is taken, these practitioners are not able to prescribe controlled substances. This is currently being worked on by the administration.

State receives first shipments of PPE donations, including N95 respirators

As part of Governor Lamont’s request for the donation of Personal Protective Equipment that can be used by the state’s medical community, the state today received its first delivery of equipment. Gil’s Drywall of Plainville and PW Power Systems of Glastonbury both donated N95 respirators that were dropped off today at the state’s collection facility in Cheshire. Governor Lamont expressed his gratitude to these businesses on their generous donations.

Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that are able to donate these vital materials are urged to contact the state by filling out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.

Since the launching the request late last week, the state has received responses from more than 500 entities expressing interest in offering donations.

The Partnership for Connecticut donates more than 60,000 laptops to under-resourced districts

As classes remain canceled in schools throughout the state and schools are making every effort to promote remote learning, The Partnership for Connecticut today announced that it will be donating 60,551 laptops to students attending high school in some of the state’s most under-resourced school districts. Eligibility is limited to the high schools across the state’s 33 Alliance Districts that serve significant populations of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and laptop distribution will prioritize students demonstrating the most need.

The Partnership for Connecticut is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Connecticut’s disengaged and disconnected youth and young adults access the educational and career opportunities they need to succeed in life.

For more information, read the announcement made today by the nonprofit.

Connecticut businesses urged to note that the IRS is providing a full and immediate reimbursement for COVID-19 employee medical leave costs

Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) Commissioner Andrew Mais would like small and medium-sized businesses in the state to be aware of recent IRS guidance on novel coronavirus COVID-19-related employee medical leave and new payroll tax credits. The cost of not just the leave but also of health insurance during the leave will be covered.

The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor announced in IR-2020-57 that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act). For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave.

For more information on this, read the press release issued today by CID.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hot line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Saturday March 21, 2020

As of Saturday evening, a total of 223 Connecticut residents had tested positive for COVID-19, 43 were hospitalized, and five individuals had died, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

More than 3,100 tests had been conducted in the state since testing began.

The state’s fifth COVID-19 fatality was a man in his 80s who died from complications from coronavirus, according to the Lamont administration. The man was a resident of a nursing home in Stafford Springs and had been receiving treatment at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford.

At least 100 entities have come forward to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) following Lamont’s call for donations. The hospitals have been running low and the state has had trouble sourcing PPE on its own.

Lamont also signed a new executive order Saturday that:

• Suspends the requirement for people who are receiving public assistance to re-apply every 12 to 24 months.

• Suspends co-payment requirements for dually eligible Medicare Part D beneficiaries and HUSKY B clients.

• Limits visitation opportunities with children who are under the care of the Department of Children and Families.

• Suspends the in-person requirement for shareholder meetings.

Late Friday, Lamont also decided to postpone the April 15 personal income tax deadline until July 15.

Friday March 20 6pm

Governor Directs All Non-Essential Functions in Connecticut to Suspend In-Person Operations Beginning 8PM Monday; Governor Provides Updated Guidance to Individuals and New Order Affecting Businesses

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that part of the ongoing civil preparedness and public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he is directing Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay at Home.”

Under today’s executive order, the governor is directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to, effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. The governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implement.

The order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.

The Office of the Governor is working in concert with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to develop guidance for all businesses relating to this order. That guidance will be released over the weekend.

“At this critical time it is essential that everyone just stay home so we can contain the spread of this virus while keeping essential services running,” Governor Lamont said. “I know that this will be disruptive to many and will bring many daily activities to a halt, but the only way we will be able to mitigate the impacts of this public health emergency is to take measures like this. I appreciate everyone’s cooperation, and I especially want to thank the essential workers who are needed to keep critical services running.”

The governor is calling this his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative. The plan recommends that state residents do the following:

  1. Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
  2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
  3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups -groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
  4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
  5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
  6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
  7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
  8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
  9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
  10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

The businesses for which this order applies shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are available at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors. For more information, refer to the text of the executive order.

Thursday March 19 6:00 Pm

  • Since yesterday’s update, an additional 63 Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the state wide total to 159. This includes the first cases to be reported out of Tolland and Windham Counties. There are three fatalities in Connecticut due to complications from COVID-19.
  • Governor Lamont today signed his eighth executive order pursuant to his emergency declaration, taking further actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Connecticut. This one:
    • Postpones Connecticut’s presidential primary from April 28 to June 2, 2020.
    • Suspends non-critical court operations and associated requirements, deadlines, and statutes of limitations.
    • Permits certain restaurants and other eating establishments to sell alcohol with take-out food orders and certain other licensees to sell for off-premise consumption under conditions specified in the order and implementing orders to be issued by the Department of Consumer Protection.
    • Directs the temporary closure of barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, and related businesses effective at 8:00 p.m. on Friday.
    • Expands the ability of patients and doctors to use telehealth for healthcare services.
    • Temporarily suspends in-person investigation visits regarding suspected elder abuse and extends timelines for reporting investigation results.
  • In addition to the State Laboratory, there are now 15 alternative sites in Connecticut that are offering drive-through testing.
  • Jackson Labs is partnering with the state to improve the capacity to process tests that are conducted in the state.
  • Department of Transportation is making changes to its bus operations to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.
  • Amid continuing volatility in the financial markets, Banking Commissioner Perez is reassuring Connecticut residents that their money remains safe in banks and credit unions.

(HARTFORD, CT) – As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since yesterday’s update, an additional 63 Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the total number of positive cases reported in Connecticut (including presumptive positive) – from both the State Laboratory and private laboratories – to 159. This includes the first cases to be reported out of Tolland and Windham Counties. The only county in Connecticut that has not yet reported a positive case is New London County.

A county-by-county breakdown of the total positive cases statewide includes:

  • Fairfield County: 102
  • Hartford County: 18
  • Litchfield County: 7
  • Middlesex County: 3
  • New Haven County: 23
  • Tolland County: 4
  • Windham County: 2

While the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) State Laboratory in Rocky Hill has been publicly releasing data on the number of tests conducted at its facility that have returned negative results for the virus, private laboratories have not been providing the state with similar statistics for tests conducted at each of their facilities. Acknowledging the benefits to the public of having this information, yesterday evening the Lamont administration signed an order requiring all private laboratories in the state to begin releasing this information to DPH effective immediately so that it can be publicly reported and collected with the data on negative tests results from the State Laboratory. That data is anticipated to be received soon and will be publicly shared.

To date, there have been three fatalities in Connecticut due to complications related to COVID-19. Those three cases include a man in his 80s from Ridgefield, which was announced yesterday, a man in his 80s from New Canaan, and another man in his 90s who was also from New Canaan. Both of the New Canaan men were living in private homes.

Governor Lamont signs eighth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Lamont signed another executive order – the eighth since he enacted the civic preparedness and public health emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7G enacts the following provisions:

  • Postpones Connecticut’s presidential primary to June 2: Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary had been scheduled for April 28. The decision to move the date was made in coordination with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and in consultation with other states that had a primary scheduled for the same date.
  • Suspends non-critical court operations and associated requirements: In close coordination and consultation with the Judicial Branch, the executive order suspends, for the duration of this public health and civil preparedness emergency, all statutory location or venue requirements; time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations or deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings or court filings; and all time requirements or deadlines related to the courts’ obligations to issue notices, hold court, hear matters and/or render decisions.
  • Permits certain restaurants and other eating establishments to sell alcohol with take-out food orders under certain conditions: The order permits any business with an active restaurant, café or tavern liquor permit issued by the Department of Consumer Protection to sell sealed containers of alcoholic liquor for pick up at such restaurant, café or tavern under the following conditions: (i) the sale shall accompany a pick-up order of food prepared on the premises; (ii) the type of alcoholic liquor sold for off-premise consumption shall be the same as what the permit type would have permitted for on-premise consumption prior to Executive Order 7D, and (iii) the hours of such sales that include alcoholic liquor as part of the take-out order shall be the same as those for a package store. Delivery of alcoholic liquor by licensees with these permit types is not permitted. Businesses with manufacturing permits, such as craft breweries and similar establishments, may sell alcohol for off-premise consumption according to the existing terms of their permits.
  • Directs the temporary closure of barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, and related businesses: Effective at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, the order directs the temporary closure to the public of all establishments rendering services by barbers, hairdressers and cosmeticians, nail technicians, electrologists, estheticians, eyelash technicians, and tattoo and piercing providers, including, but not limited to, barbershops, beauty shops, hairdressing salons, nail salons, spas, kiosks, and tattoo or piercing establishments. The commissioner of Public Health may issue any order she deems necessary to implement or modify such prohibition.
  • Expands telehealth services for Connecticut residents: The order allows patients and healthcare providers, consistent with federal revisions to HIPAA, to communicate over a broad range of platforms. Those platforms can include audio-only telephone calls for patients and providers with a prior relationship. In addition, it allows patients to access out-of-state telehealth providers, allows commercial health insurers and Medicaid to cover telehealth services for all in-network providers, regardless of communication platform or the provider’s state of practice, and it allows providers to offer telehealth services from a location other than their licensed facility. Finally, the order also caps the amount providers availing themselves of this new flexibility may charge patients for telehealth services in Connecticut when providers are out-of-network or when patients are uninsured.
  • Suspends in-person investigative visits regarding reports of elder abuse: The order temporarily suspends the requirement for a state official conducting an investigation of elder abuse to perform an in-person visit to the elderly person and extends the time required to report the results of the investigation.

Connecticut now has 15 drive-through testing locations

In addition to the DPH State Laboratory, there are now 15 alternative locations throughout Connecticut that are offering drive-through testing. They include:

  • Bridgeport Hospital
  • Bristol Hospital
  • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington)
  • Danbury Hospital
  • Greenwich Hospital
  • Hartford Hospital
  • Johnson Memorial Hospital (Stafford Springs)
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital (New London)
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital
  • Mid-State Medical Center (Meriden)
  • Stamford Hospital
  • Saint Francis Hospital (Hartford)
  • Saint Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury)
  • Waterbury Hospital
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital

As a reminder, no individual should arrive at any of these locations and request to be tested. Anyone experiencing symptoms should consult with their medical provider, who will then refer them for testing.

Jackson Labs partners with the state to provide testing to Connecticut residents

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX-GM) today announced that the research institution will partner with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, UConn Health, and Hartford HealthCare to provide the State of Connecticut with significant additional COVID-19 testing capability.

JAX-GM estimates that with its current staffing and equipment, it will be able to test 100 to 150 samples per day. However, as this is an evolving situation, JAX-GM is already working to increase its staff and equipment to meet the growing needs of the state.

This additional testing capacity will both allow DPH to diagnose patients who have the virus, and will allow researchers to learn more about the virus for broader epidemiological purposes. Ultimately, this will enable the State of Connecticut to test more people, faster.

For more information on this announcement, click here.

Department of Transportation makes changes to bus operations to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is making several adjustments to its CTtransit and CTfastrak bus operations in order to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. Effective immediately, passengers will board from the rear door with the exception of passengers in wheelchairs and others who require the bus to kneel. Additionally, approximately 100 CTtransit buses have been equipped with transparent, impermeable barriers providing a partition between drivers and passengers. Buses are operating on normal weekday and weekend schedules. CTtransit service updates can be found at www.cttransit.com. For more information on the bus adjustments, click here.

In other CTDOT news, the CTrail Hartford Line and Shore Line East train schedules have been reduced, and the Metro-North New Haven Line continues to maintain operations. Commuters should check www.hartfordline.comwww.shorelineeast.com, and www.mta.info/mnr for service updates.

Service plazas on I-95, I-395, and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways, as well as rest areas on I-91 and I-84 remain open for highway travelers. Take-out food is being served but visitors are being directed to purchase their items and remove them from the facilities to minimize any congregation of people. Rest area and service plaza facilities are continually being cleaned and sanitized. Highway maintenance projects are continuing as planned.

“I especially want to express my gratitude to all of the transit workers in Connecticut who are maintaining critical operations in order to ensure that the people of our state can safely get to where they need to be during this difficult time, including healthcare professionals and first responders who need to get to their jobs,” Governor Lamont said. “I want each of them to know that we are grateful for every effort they are making to ensure our transportation system can continue operating and people can get to where they need to go, particularly in the event of an emergency.”

Banking Commissioner Perez reassures Connecticut residents on the safety of their deposits in financial institutions

Amid continuing volatility in the financial markets and an economy quickly slowing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez is reassuring Connecticut residents that their money is safe in banks and credit unions.

“While it is natural to worry about the safety of your money in uncertain times, the money Connecticut residents have in financial institutions will continue to be insured up to $250,000,” Commissioner Perez said. “More so then ever before, customers and members can have the peace of mind knowing their deposits are secured though the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for banks and the National Credit Union Association for credit unions.”

For more information on this, click here.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, all residents in the state are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.