April 19, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Here is a summary of the information from the Office of the Governor through April 19, 2020:

County Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Lab-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 7,434 746 447
Hartford County 3,351 420 295
Litchfield County 600 27 48
Middlesex County 462 33 40
New Haven County 4,871 633 257
New London County 339 26 10
Tolland County 276 12 24
Windham County 100 4 2
Pending validation 529 0 4
Total 17,962 1,901 1,127

 

EXECUTIVE ORDERS: 

You can find all of the Executive Orders issued to date at this website.

April 17, 2020: Executive Order No. 7BB

  • Cloth face coverings or higher level of protection required in public wherever close contact is unavoidable
  • Further postponement of presidential preference primary to August 11

April 15, 2020: Executive Order No. 7AA

  • Approval of temporary additional nursing home beds for COVID-19 recovery

April 14, 2020: Executive Order No. 7Z

  • Modification of state contracting statutes to facilitate the emergency procurement of essential goods
  • In-person attendance requirement suspended for assessment appeals
  • Suspension of requirements for security officer license

April 11, 2020: Executive Order No. 7Y

  • Implementation of a nursing home surge plan

April 10, 2020: Executive Order No. 7X

  • Protections for residential renters impacted by COVID-19
  • Continued cancellation of school classes through May 20, 2020
  • Extension of closures, distancing, and safety measures through May 20, 2020
  • Modification or deferral of educator certification testing
  • Permission to operate food trucks at rest areas

April 9, 2020: Executive Order No. 7W

  • Suspension and modification of tax deadlines and collection efforts pursuant to Executive Order No. 7S, Section 6
  • No increased experience rating based on COVID-19 unemployment claims
  • Coil cleaning requirements modified
  • Delivery signature requirement suspended
  • Return of permit not necessary for temporary closures pursuant to Exec. Order No. 7D
  • Ninety-day provisional permits
  • Renewal date for on-premise liquor permits to be extended
  • Permit need not be recorded with town clerk

April 7, 2020: Executive Order No. 7V

  • Safe workplaces in essential businesses
  • Temporary permits for certain health care providers extended and fees waived
  • Practice before licensure for certain health care profession applicants and graduates
  • Practice before licensure for marital and family therapy associates
  • Practice before licensure for professional counselor associates
  • Protection from civil liability for actions/omissions in support of CT’s COVID-19 response.

April 5, 2020: Executive Order No. 7U

  • Protection from civil liability for actions/omissions in support of CT’s COVID-19 response
  • Financial protections for the uninsured and people covered by insurance who receive out-of-network health care services during the public health emergency.

 

IN ADDITION:

Connecticut’s First Rapid COVID-19 Testing Center in New Haven

Governor Ned Lamont announced on Fri, April 17 that the State of Connecticut has formed a partnership with CVS Health in an initiative that will make free, rapid COVID-19 tests available to eligible Connecticut residents. This includes the opening today of the state’s first rapid testing site at the former Gateway Community College campus at Long Wharf in New Haven.

Using the new Abbott ID NOW™ COVID-19 test, CVS Health is planning to conduct up to 750 tests per day, seven days a week. All patients seeking to be tested will be required to pre-register in advance online.

Here’s how it works:

  •   Anyone experiencing certain COVID-19 related symptoms and risk factors as defined by CDC guidelines, as well as those who meet certain requirements including state residency and age guidelines, are eligible.
  •   All patients must register online and schedule a time slot prior to arriving to the test site. Anyone who does not have an appointment will not be tested. Tests can be scheduled for the same day or up to two days in advance. To register, visit www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
  •   The testing will not take place at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations, but will be held at the former Gateway Community College parking lot (60 Sargent Drive, New Haven). For the safety of patients and health care providers, all patients must arrive in a vehicle. At this time, walk-up testing is not being offered.
  •   When patients arrive, they are required to remain in their vehicles. Team members will check their registration and direct them through the testing process. Health care providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants from MinuteClinic, will be on-site to oversee the testing.
  •   The process takes approximately 30 minutes from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results.
  •   Testing is available at no charge to the public.

The former Gateway Community College parking lot was selected by state officials because it is an easily accessible area that is able to accommodate multiple lanes of cars at one time. The state is providing security, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for the team administrating the tests, and on the ground logistics.

“While a vaccine does not yet exist for this virus, one of the ways we can mitigate its impact is through increasing our testing capacity,” Governor Lamont said. “Not only will this new testing site significantly increase the number of people being tested, but the speed at which we can get results will aid in our effort to prevent further spread of this disease. Public-private partnerships like this will only strengthen our state in the fight against the coronavirus. We appreciate the community outreach that CVS Health is doing here in Connecticut as their work is quite literally saving lives.”

“CVS Health is uniquely positioned to play a vital role in helping support both local communities and the overall health care system in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic,” Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, said. “Our ability to help coordinate the availability of rapid COVID-19 testing for Connecticut residents will bolster the state’s efforts to manage the spread of the virus and provide people with on-the-spot test results.”

“We see the effectiveness of COVID-19 rapid testing sites in other states like Georgia and Rhode Island, and I am glad that CVS Health has stepped up quickly to open a rapid testing site in our city,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said. “The New Haven Health Department will also provide assistance to those residents without internet access by helping filling out the online application. Call our emergency line at 203-946-4949 for assistance. This is an unprecedented time for our communities, and it is critical we continue to stay home and stay safe to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Launching of the rapid testing site has been a joint initiative of the following organizations:

  •   CVS Health
  •   Office of Governor Lamont
  •   Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
  •   Connecticut State Police
  •   Connecticut National Guard
  •   Connecticut Department of Administrative Services
  •   Connecticut Department of Public Health
  •   Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
  •   City of New Haven
  •   Jordan’s Furniture

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Apr. 15 Update on CT Unemployment Claim Applications

 

The governor announced that a new software improvement at the CT Department of Labor was launched last night that will significantly increase the speed at which unemployment claim applications can be processed. 

Paired with the continued manual processing, the originally anticipated six-week wait period will be shortened to one week or less.

Anyone who has applied for unemployment benefits is urged to monitor their email for a notification from the Department of Labor directing them to take action on next steps in order to receive their benefits (be sure to check any spam or junk folders as well). 

To receive the benefits in the fastest way possible, claimants are advised to utilize direct deposit to have their benefits sent directly to a checking or savings account of their choice. 

In contrast, due to the national pandemic, a shortage of debit cards could cause an additional three-week delay for the vendor to issue the card.

The processing for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which adds $600 in federal stimulus funds to every weekly state benefit payment, is scheduled to begin April 24. The additional funds will be included in Connecticut benefit payments the following week.

In addition, the Department of Labor expects to begin accepting claim applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – the federal program that provides benefits for self-employed individuals and independent contractors – by April 30.

Benefits for both programs will be retroactive to the date a person needed to apply.

For more information regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unemployment benefits in Connecticut, members of the public are urged to read the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) provided by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

For more information:

https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Announces-System-That-Will-Significantly-Speed-up-Unemployment-Claims

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Unemployed residents who have not yet filed should:

Visit www.filectui.com 

Click first on the message above the large blue button that notes, “For quicker payment of unemployment benefits, please follow these instructions.” The link will bring claimants to a guide that should be read before filing for benefits.

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The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is extending the filing and payment deadlines of certain returns until July 15, 2020. These extensions align Connecticut tax filing and payment dates with filing and payment extensions recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service.

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The State of Connecticut is partnering with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) and its affiliate CONNSTEP in an effort that will facilitate collaboration between the state’s manufacturers that are retooling their operations to make critically needed medical equipment and supplies, and the health care institutions that are experiencing specific shortages. The effort is focused on using manufacturers as non-traditional sources to meet needs that currently can’t be met in the market, which has become overwhelmed as global demand has dramatically increased.

 

Through the creation of a new website by CONNSTEP – www.ctcovidresponse.org – manufacturers will be able to obtain information on the current supply needs in Connecticut, make connections with suppliers, and ultimately provide the products to health care institutions.

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The Connecticut Department of Social Services announced the allocation of over $3.8 million in federal food assistance to two of the state’s largest food banks, including the Connecticut Food Bank, which will receive $1.9 million for food and nearly $650,000 for administrative costs, and Foodshare, which will receive nearly $1 million for food and $300,00 for administrative costs.

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The nonprofit organization AdvanceCT is forming the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which will consist of experts within the state’s medical and business community who will examine issues concerning how best to reopen the state’s economy. Established and governed by AdvanceCT, the group will consult with the state and regional partners and experts on next steps. The advisory group will be co-chaired by Indra Nooyi, the current board co-chair of AdvanceCT and the former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, and Albert Ko MD, who is a professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and a department chair at the Yale School of Public Health. Other senior advisors will include Ezekiel Emanuel, who serves as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, and Scott Gottlieb, who is a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. AdvanceCT expects to announce additional members in the coming days.

 

The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are forming a multi-state council that will work to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.

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The state is seeking volunteers from the general public who are needed for services at many different types of providers, such as food banks, deliveries to the elderly, shelters, and more.  Volunteers must be 18 or older, and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts..

Those interested in volunteering should visit ct.gov/coronavirus for information on how to register.

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The State has received a generous donation of hydroxychloroquine from Amneal Pharmaceuticals that will be distributed to acute care hospitals as they combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and work to ensure that critically ill patients have access to the medication. Approximately 400,000 tablets of the 200mg hydroxychloroquine tablets have shipped and are starting to be received by hospitals. They went direct to medical facilities.  For more information, read the press release issued today by the Department of Consumer Protection.

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Minority and women-owned businesses with 20 or fewer employees can now apply for a zero-interest line of credit up to $20,000 to help them navigate the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Companies can learn more about the program and apply for assistance by visiting HEDCO’s website.

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The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system has repurposed its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers to help meet the state’s need for personal protective equipment. The colleges, including Asnuntuck, Housatonic, Naugatuck Valley, Northwestern, and Tunxis, are producing face shield frames for area hospitals and nursing homes using additive manufacturing technology, including 3D printers.

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A partnership with Connecticut’s long-term care facilities to collaborate on a medical surge plan that includes the establishment of COVID-19 recovery centers in nursing homes to accept patients who can be discharged from acute care hospitals, but are still impacted by COVID19 infection. So far, at least four such recovery centers will be opened in Torrington, Bridgeport, Meriden, and Sharon that will make available more than 500 new beds for COVID-19 patients.

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Connecticut manufacturers can now apply for grants of up to $75,000 to assist in the production of critical equipment and supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. The grants, offered through the state’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund Voucher Program, can be used for working capital, new equipment, and other purposes that help companies build capacity or repurpose their operations.

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Applications for the funding will be reviewed and approved by the Department of Economic and Community Development, in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, based on the state’s current needs for medical equipment and supplies related to the pandemic. Funding for this short-term program is limited to $1.3 million and requires a one-to-one match from participating businesses. Learn more about the program and the application process by visiting https://ctmvp.ccat.us.

 

The post April 19, 2020 COVID-19 Update appeared first on Connecticut Senate Republicans.

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