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 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).
A county-by-county breakdown includes:
|County||Laboratory Confirmed Cases||Hospitalized Cases||Deaths|
|New Haven County||156||34||2|
|New London County||13||2||0|
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 test requirements for the current school year.
|**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7N|
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.