Connecticut - COVID-19 Covered

Connecticut

Total Cases: 50,567 (August 10)
Tests Administered: 864,633 (January 1)
Fatalities: 4,444 (August 10)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Connecticut can be found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Essential businesses in Connecticut comprise 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the Department of Homeland Security; essential health care operations; companies involved in pharmaceutical and healthcare supplies; essential infrastructure such as utilities, telecommunications, airports and transportation; manufacturing, including food processing; the defense industrial base; essential retail such as grocery stores and big-box stores; pharmacies, gas stations, and convenience stores; food and beverage retailers and restaurants (provided they comply with previous orders); essential services including trash and recycling collection; news media; legal and accounting services; banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; and vendors that provide essential services or products, including child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies, among other services. (March 20)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Lamont issued an executive order creating a rebuttable presumption that workers who contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it on the job and are, therefore, eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. (July 27) 
  • Governor Lamont issued an executive order extending COVID-19-related workers’ compensation for another six months. (July 24) 
  • Executive Order 7CCC enacts several provisions, including the clarification of time periods for tax appeals, the extension of time for fire service personnel examinations, and the issuance of duplicate licenses and identity cards (June 25).  
  • Governor Lamont announced the launch of the CT Back to Work Initiative, a career resources and workforce upskilling program. (June 11) 
  • Executive Order 7PP extended and refined a number of guidelines, including that offices may resume in-person operations May 20 following specific sector rules. (May 18) 
  • Governor Lamont released a guidance document detailing best practices for dentist offices that are considering reopening or expanding operations beyond emergency care in the coming days. (May 18) 
  • The Connecticut Department of Labor launched a new system for self-employed individuals to apply for federal unemployment benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. (April 30) 
  • Senate Democrats announced that unemployment benefits in Connecticut will be extended from 26 to 39 weeks. (April 22) 
  • Governor Lamont announced the introduction of a Department of Labor system to expedite unemployment claims. (April 15) 
  • Executive Order 7V mandated new safety restrictions in essential businesses to maintain social distancing practices. (April 7) The restrictions include increasing physical space between employees and customers, delivering services remotely, cleaning and reducing common touchpoints, and encouraging essential workers to wear cloth face coverings and masks. (April 7) 
  • Executive Order 7S enacted mandatory statewide “safe stores” rules, including occupancy caps, clearly marked six-foot spacing, and signage to direct customers and limit bottlenecks, among other provisions. (April 1) 
  • Executive Order 7N imposed new restrictions on retail operations allowed to remain open, including taking “appropriate and reasonable measures” to ensure customers maintain six feet of distance between each other. (March 26) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Lamont reinstated the Small Town Grant Program to stimulate capital improvements as the state economy rebounds. (July 9) 
  • Governor Lamont announced a $33 million-dollar assistance plan for renters, homeowners, and residential landlords impacted by COVID-19. (June 29) 
  • Governor Lamont announced the establishment of ConnectiCorps, a new community service program that will help address the growing demand on essential services. (June 25) 
  • Governor Lamont announced a 60-day extension to the state’s mortgage relief program. (June 4) 
  • Governor Lamont announced a public-private partnership to support vulnerable Connecticut families excluded from existing federal relief programs. (June 3) 
  • The Department of Social Services announced that SNAP recipients will be able to purchase food online from select retailers in Connecticut for delivery or curbside pickup. (June 1) 
  • The Department of Economic and Community Development has committed an additional $3 million to the COVID-19 Business Response Program, providing relief to women and minority-owned small businesses. (May 8) 
  • Executive Order 7CC included a provision that modified state statutes to provide that stimulus payments under the CARES Act will not be counted as income or resources when determining eligibility for state benefits or services. (April 21) 
  • The Department of Revenue Services has launched an assistance program for taxpayers subject to collections matters who have been impacted by the pandemic. (April 17) 
  • Executive Order 7S directed new flexibilities in payment of some taxes, extending the deadline to file income and expense statements to August 15, and the suspension of non-judicial tax sales, among other provisions. (April 1) 
  • Governor Lamont announced the creation of the Connecticut Covid-19 Charity Connection, an organization to raise funds to support the state’s nonprofit providers serving those with the greatest need. (April 1) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Lamont announced that minority and women-owned small businesses can now apply for a zero-interest loan of up to $20,000. (April 9) 
  • The state announced a new initiative, the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program, to provide $25 million in zero-interest loans to small businesses with up to 100 employees. (March 25) 
  • The CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) launched a Business Emergency Response Unit, dedicated to helping businesses navigate resources available to them during the crisis. (March 17) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopenings:

  • Connecticut has expanded restrictions to include travelers from more than two-thirds of the US, bringing the total to 34 states. Violators could face a $1,000 fine. (July 28) 
  • Campgrounds across the state began opening today as cases in Connecticut decline. (July 8) 
  • Governor Lamont has indefinitely paused Phase 3 of Connecticut’s reopening plan. (July 7) 
  • In tandem with New York and New Jersey, Connecticut is imposing a self-quarantine requirement on travelers from states where infections pass a certain level. (June 24) 
  • Gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are permitted. (June 17) 
  • Governor Lamont signed an executive order modifying previous executive orders to adapt to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening (covering sectors such as hotels, indoor dining, and personal services), permitting the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development to issue rules on large gatherings and events, allowing hotel liquor permit holders to sell liquor with pick-up and delivery services, extending prohibition of operations at off-track betting facilities, and extending essential business rules, among other provisions. (June 16) 
  • Casinos are permitted to reopen with restrictions; they may not allow people from out-of-state to stay in hotels, masks will be required inside, and dining will only be allowed outdoors. (May 29) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Lamont announced that Connecticut will make an additional $160 million in funding available for school districts to safely reopen, assist them with costs associated with responding to COVID-19, and support local operations for the 2020-21 academic year. (August 6) 
  • Connecticut released its plans for a shortened high school sports season. (July 31) 
  • Governor Lamont has left it open to individual school districts to decide how to open schools in the fall, saying the state will not dictate terms. (July 28) 
  • Governor Lamont announced that the state is on track to reopen schools in the fall, but the decisions about distance learning and other precautionary measures will be made “based on metrics.” (July 10) 
  • State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said he is exploring the possibility of smaller class sizes and hybrid in-person and distance learning if schools reopen in the Fall. (May 11) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Connecticut colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The University of Connecticut announced that it is suspending its football program for the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 5) 
  • The University of Connecticut announced its testing strategy as it prepares for the start of the academic year. (July 20) 
  • CCSU President Mark Ojakian announced that a number of Connecticut state colleges and universities are planning to resume in-person classes in the fall – including Southern Connecticut State University and Gateway Community College. (May 29) 
  • Governor Lamont has received a report detailing recommendations for a phased reopening of colleges and universities in the state, at the discretion of the institutions – including a gradual reopening over the course of the summer, and a larger reopening by the fall semester if prevailing health conditions permit. The report was authored by the Presidents & chiefs of staff of Connecticut State Colleges & Universities and the University of New Haven. (May 6) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com