Connecticut - COVID-19 Covered

Connecticut

Total Cases: 42,022 (May 31)
Tests Administered: 246,935 (May 30)
Fatalities: 3,912 (May 31)
Testing:
  • CVS Health is opening 13 additional drive-thru test sites in the state. (May 21)
  • Governor Lamont said the state now has a robust contact tracing program in place, and has increased testing – performing 5,000 tests over the past week. (May 18)
  • Connecticut is distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers to small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship to support reopening activities. (May 15)
  • CVS Health is opening twelve new testing sites at select drive-thru locations in Bethel, Cheshire, Coventry, East Hampton, Enfield, Glastonbury, Guildford, Hartford, Rocky Hill, South Windsor, and Stratford. (May 14)
  • Connecticut has received its single largest shipment of PPE from suppliers in China, including 6 million surgical masks, 500,000 protective masks, 100,000 surgical gowns, and 100,000 temporal thermometers. (May 12)
  • Governor Lamont signed Executive Order 7KK, which authorizes pharmacists to order and administer FDA-approved tests for COVID-19. (May 7)
  • Governor Lamont and the governors of Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts announced a joint multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and testing supplies. (May 3)
  • Governor Lamont said that the state will prioritize testing in densely packed neighborhoods in its largest cities, including Bridgeport and Hartford. Testing will also be prioritized for food service workers, factory workers, and other frontline employees. (April 30)
  • A Harvard-STAT analysis argued that Connecticut must conduct about 15,000 more tests a day to safely reopen schools and non-essential businesses. (April 27)
  • Quest Diagnostics has committed to adding 2,000 tests a day in Connecticut – a nearly 80% increase over the current daily average of 2,600 tests statewide. (April 21)
  • Governor Lamont announced that the state has launched a rapid COVID-19 testing center in New Haven in partnership with CVS Health. Test results are expected to be delivered in 30 minutes at no cost to patients. (April 17)
  • Connecticut, which has the fifth-highest rate of confirmed cases in the US, has lagged behind other states in reported test results. The state has begun working with more businesses to receive and process tests, including Sema4, which operationalized its testing last week. (April 13)
  • In part due to scarcity of personal protective equipment, Connecticut is planning to decrease testing – prioritizing very sick individuals, health care workers, and front-line responders. (March 27)
  • The Connecticut State Public Health Laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, Jackson Labs, and the majority of acute care hospitals in the state have been approved for on-site COVID-19 testing; testing is free for individuals who have an order from their primary care physician. (March 21)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Lamont announced that the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and CONNSTEP will distribute free face coverings to essential small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. (April 25)
  • 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)
  • 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:

  • 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)
  • Governor Lamont has released the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group’s full report, detailing recommendations to be science-driven while reopening, protecting vulnerable residents, ensuring the healthcare system is capable of handling patient needs, minimizing harm to the economy, and equipping the state to respond to future crises. (May 26)
  • Connecticut has set June 20 as the kick off phase of the second phase of its reopening. (May 21)
  • Governor Lamont is disbanding the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group. The state is expected to rely more on Boston Consulting Group, which it hired to assist with reopening. (May 20)
  • Governor Lamont announced that personal services, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, outdoor amusement parks, social clubs, pools, museums, and aquariums may be able to reopen around June 20. He also stated that bars, indoor event locations, arcades, and outdoor events of up to 100 people would be included in the Phase 3 reopening, which may begin in late July. (May 20)
  • Executive Order 7PP extended and refined a number of guidelines – offices may resume in-person operations May 20 following specific sector rules; retail may resume in-person operations May 20 following specific rules; restaurants may serve food in-person using outdoor dining May 20; bars, gyms, theaters, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors are closed until at least June 20; summer camps are permitted to open June 29; and hair salons are closed until early June. (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)
  • Governor Lamont signed an executive order to help restaurants when the state begins to reopen on May 20. The order allows cities to expedite changes to zoning rules to expand outdoor dining; expedites permitting for restaurants to expand outdoor dining; allows retail stores to get fast-tracked permission to sell goods on the sidewalk; allows restaurants who have liquor permits to be able to serve alcohol without applying for a separate patio, among other provisions. (May 12)
  • Governor Lamont released documents detailing protocols for museums and zoos, offices, restaurants, and retail stores and malls to reopen on May 20. (May 9)
  • Governor Lamont signed an executive order that directed hotels and short-term rentals to be exclusively for essential workers. (April 2)
  • 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:

  • FEMA has approved the Lamont administration’s request to extend its non-congregate housing programs until July 2 – a program that serves vulnerable individuals that have COVID-19 or have been in contact with COVID-19 positive individuals. (May 26)
  • Connecticut is receiving $111 million in federal relief aid under the CARES Act for the state’s school districts. (May 14)
  • Governor Lamont said he is considering enhancing unemployment benefits, particularly for individuals who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus. (May 12)
  • 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)
  • The Department of Revenue services announced it is extending the deadline for filing certain protests with the Appellate Division by 90 days. (May 8)
  • Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, will offer Connecticut residents free assistance in managing their loans. (May 6)
  • Connecticut is expanding SkillUp CT, a program that makes free online learning licenses available to recipients of unemployment insurance. (May 4)
  • 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)
  • The Connecticut Department of Labor has begun issuing supplemental $600 weekly stimulus payments (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation), which is retroactive to March 29 and will be provided through July 25. (April 28)
  • The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood announced a childcare subsidy program for frontline workers, including health care, childcare, and grocery workers, which will offer payments directly to providers. (April 23)
  • Governor Lamont announced the members of the Re-Open Connecticut Advisory Group, including representatives of AdvanceCT, Aventri, Life Biosciences, Yale University, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the Connecticut AFL-CIO, and the Connecticut Health Foundation, among others. (April 23)
  • Senate Democrats announced that unemployment benefits in Connecticut will be extended from 26 to 39 weeks. (April 22)
  • 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)
  • Connecticut has secured relief options with a number of private student loan servicers whose borrowers are not covered by the CARES Act. (April 21)
  • Governor Lamont said he is targeting May 20 as a tentative date to begin reopening the state – dependent on testing capacity and supplies of surgical masks. (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)
  • Governor Lamont submitted a request to President Trump asking that FEMA cover 100% of costs incurred by the state and to extend financial support to residents affected by the crisis. (April 14)
  • The Department of Revenue Services extended filing and payment deadlines for certain state tax returns to July 15. (April 14)
  • Governor Lamont announced the introduction of a Department of Labor system to expedite unemployment claims. (April 15)
  • Governor Lamont announced that the nonprofit organization AdvanceCT planned to create an expert panel of Connecticut business and medical professionals that will consult him on decisions regarding reopening Connecticut’s economy. (April 13)
  • Governor Lamont signed an executive order that instituted a 60-day grace period for April and May rent payments, among other provisions. (April 10)
  • Executive Order 7U provided health care professionals with protections from lawsuits, as well as financial protections for uninsured, among other provisions. (April 5) Executive Order 7V replaced 7U’s language to add protection from liability for common law claims. (April 7)
  • Executive Order 7S directed new flexibilities in payment of some taxes, amending Medicaid waivers, 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)
  • Executive Order 7R continued funding for boards of education and payment of public school staff. (March 31)
  • The Lamont administration reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks to obtain a 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments for some residents impacted by the crisis; relief from fees and charges; no new foreclosures for 60 days; and institutions have agreed not to negatively impact credit reports as a result of accepting payment relief. (March 31)
  • Governor Lamont’s request for a presidential disaster declaration for Connecticut was approved. (March 29)
  • 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)
  • Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No.7I, providing broad relief for municipalities regarding procedures, notice requirements, and deadlines for various proceedings and decisions; it also enacted changes related to Medicare Part D and HUSKY B costs, student privacy, visitation in family facilities, and pharmacy regulations, among other provisions. (March 21)
  • The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has extended the filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15 and before June 1, by at least 30 days. (March 21)
  • The CT Department of Economic and Community Development is extending payments by 90 days that are due on loans extended through Small Business Express. (March 21)
  • The state has suspended evictions and foreclosures through March 27, and this may extend further. (March 21)
  • The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has petitioned the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to issue emergency orders related to outreach to small and midsize businesses and non-profit organizations in financial distress to establish bill payment arrangements and require the provision of payment plans to all customer classes. (March 18)
  • Governor Lamont ordered the Office of Policy and Management to release to all municipalities in the state; the second of three annual payments from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund in advance of the statutory payment date, totaling more than $17 million. (March 18)
  • Governor Lamont has instituted resources for furloughed employees, including unemployment benefits, cash payments, disastrous assistance loans, and an open enrollment period; Lamont has also urged daycares to stay open. (March 17)
  • Governor Lamont signed Executive Order 7B which waived face-to-face interview requirements for temporary family assistance and increased flexibility to maintain adequate childcare resources, including allowing the Commissioner of Early Childhood to temporarily waive any requirements to maintain a sufficient capacity of childcare services and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary. (March 14)

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Connecticut Department of Labor launched a website that will track unemployment data to better plan and strategize the state’s reopening. (April 29)
  • Governor Lamont is urging community stakeholders – such as local officials, nonprofits, and philanthropic partners – to establish local long-term recovery committees. (April 29)
  • 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 Department of Revenue services announced it is granting a two-month extension of filing and payment deadlines for certain small businesses. (March 30)
  • 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)
  • Small businesses and nonprofit organizations are eligible for disaster relief loans of up to $2 million from the US Small Business Administration. (March 16)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • The state’s stay-at-home order expired May 20. (April 10)

Curfews:

  •  No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • Governor Lamont announced the state is easing restrictions; inside gatherings may have up to 10 people and outside gatherings may have up to 25. (May 29)

Delivery Services:

  • Executive Order 7X allowed food trucks to set up locations at Connecticut highway rest areas. (April 10)
  • Executive Order 7W suspended state statutes requiring buyers to sign for delivery of curbside pickup of alcoholic beverages. (April 9)
  • Executive Order 7R permitted curbside pickup of alcoholic beverages. (March 31)
  • Executive Order 7N set restrictions on restaurant payment and pickup options. (March 26)
  • Executive Order 7D closed bars and restaurants to all service except food and non-alcoholic beverage takeout and delivery. (March 16)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Lamont announced that in-person classes at all K-12 public schools will be canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. Distance learning will continue, and schools will be required to continue to provide meals under school lunch and breakfast programs for home consumption. (May 5)

State Higher Education:

  • 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