From Governor Lamont:
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 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020:
Data updates on testing in Connecticut
Since yesterday’s update, an additional 35 Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the total number of positive cases reported in the state (including presumptive positive)–from both the State Laboratory and private laboratories–to 194. This includes the first case to be reported out of New London County. As of today, every county in the state is reporting a positive case. To date, more than 2,300 patients in Connecticut have been tested
A county-by-county breakdown of the total positive cases statewide includes:
· Fairfield County: 122
· Hartford County: 29
· Litchfield County: 8
· Middlesex County: 5
· New Haven County: 23
· New London County: 1
· Tolland County: 4
· Windham County: 2
Since the last update, there has been a fourth death in Connecticut from complications due to COVID-19. A woman in her 80s who had been living in her private home in Norwalk died while receiving treatment for COVID-19 at Norwalk Hospital.
Governor Lamont signs ninth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
On Friday afternoon, Governor Lamont signed another executive order–the ninth 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. 7H enacts the following provisions:
· Restrictions on workplaces for non-essential business: The order directs 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 governor’s order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.
· Requires a coordinated effort between the State of Connecticut and its municipalities when responding to this emergency: Consistency and uniformity are an absolute necessity during a public health emergency, and it is critical that the state has consistent guidelines in place across our cities and towns. This order prohibits municipalities from issuing shelter-in-place orders or prohibitions on travel without permission from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). It also prospectively prohibits city and town leaders from enacting or enforcing any order that conflicts with any order issued by the governor or a state agency pursuant to his March 10 emergency declaration without permission from DESPP.
**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7H
State launches framework for the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
At the direction of Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the state has activated a framework for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)–protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection that are utilized by people providing healthcare services.
Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that wish to donate these vital materials should fill out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.
United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut will be working with DPH to collect the input of donation requests and will ensure that donated items are appropriate for the needs of hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The specific items being requested by the state at this time include
· N95 Respirators
· Face Masks/Surgical Masks
· Face Shields
· Surgical Gowns
· Gloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
· Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
· Hand Sanitizer
· Other Medical Items
This donation framework will remain in place to support additional donation efforts in the future.
Connecticut National Guard continues delivery of PPE to locations statewide
The Connecticut National Guard has been continuing to distribute PPE to locations throughout the state, including at Connecticut Health Centers. The Guard will continue to assist DPH with deliveries throughout the pandemic.
Department of Public Health taking over responsibilities from the FDA for approval of all COVID-19 testing at commercial laboratories
Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed every state that effective immediately, the states are now responsible for approving COVID-19 testing for all commercial laboratories within their respective states. As DPH will begin assuming these responsibilities for Connecticut, Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell has met with key staff to develop a plan based on the FDA order. The following steps are in process:
· Drafting lab protocols per guidance from FDA
· Establishing a timeline for DPH to roll out the approval process and go live
· Goal is to have all these ready by Wednesday, March 23
· DPH is developing a staffing plan to survey the commercial laboratory facilities
St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport adds drive-through testing, bringing statewide total to 16
St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport has enacted a drive-through testing site at its facility, bringing the statewide number of these alternative testing locations to 16. This is in addition to the testing that is being done at the DPH State Laboratory.
The latest list of alternative, drive-through testing locations 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 one should arrive at any of these locations and ask to be tested. Anyone experiencing symptoms should consult with their medical provider, who will then refer them for testing.
Governor Lamont and DECD speak with 5,000 small business owners and leaders about the impact of COVID-19 on businesses
Yesterday, Governor Lamont and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) David Lehman hosted a conference call with over 5,000 small business owners and leaders from throughout the state to discuss what the state has done and is planning to do to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. During the call, the governor discussed the state’s new bridge-loan program that is being set up to help small and medium-sized businesses. Details continue to be finalized, and more information is anticipated to be released next week.
To listen to the full audio of the hour-long conference call, visit the state’s COVID-19 business resource page.
Earlier this week, DECD launched the COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit, which will be dedicated to help businesses in Connecticut navigate the resources available to them during this crisis. Small businesses seeking guidance can reach this unit by calling 860-500-2333.
DMV announces series of additional extensions and waivers for vehicle registrations, emissions testing, and other credentials
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that it is adding vehicle registrations, emissions testing, and several other items to the extension period for Connecticut residents with expiring credentials. In addition to extending the expiration date of DMV credentials, late fees associated with eligible expired credentials and compliance issues will also be waived during this extension period.
The extensions announced today apply to vehicle and boat registrations, emissions testing, new residents, disabled parking placards, business licenses, suspension-related matters, inspections, school bus proficiency tests, and flashing light permits. For specific information on today’s announcements and details about each of these extension periods, click here.
Department of Revenue Services extends filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020
At the direction of Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is extending the filing and payment deadline for personal income tax returns 90 days, to July 15, 2020. The extension also applies to Connecticut estimated income tax payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.
This extension for Connecticut personal income tax return filing and payment aligns with the U.S. Treasury’s announcement earlier Friday, where it indicated federal income tax filings and payments would be extended until July 15, 2020.
Connecticut taxpayers who are owed a refund may still file with DRS. The easiest way to file–and the fastest way to receive a refund–is through online filing, including via the DRS online Taxpayer Service Center, which is easy, secure, and free to use. Since Connecticut’s personal income tax return begins with federal Adjusted Gross Income, it is often beneficial to complete one’s federal income tax return first.
Taxpayers are encouraged to visit the DRS website, where additional updates will be posted.
Businesses experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity should contact FEMA’s emergency operations center
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is encouraging businesses in the state that are experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity to contact the FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center by emailing NBEOC@fema.dhs.gov. This is a 24/7 operation and they can assist in directing the inquiry to the proper contact.
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.