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October 15 Weekly Update

Posted on October 15, 2020 by cthomas


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This week, I would like to share important updates, guidance and resources regarding COVID-19, the upcoming PURA hearings on storm response, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and upcoming local events.

COVID-19 Update

Updated COVID-19 Numbers

As of October 14, 2020, at 8:30 PM, the total of laboratory-confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported among Connecticut residents is 62,028, including 59,523 laboratory-confirmed and 2,505 probable cases.

Please click here to view the most recent COVID-19 numbers, detailed by town and county.

It is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, make sure you get tested, and stay home.

Travel Advisory Update: Michigan, Ohio, Virginia Added

 

The regional travel advisory between Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York that went into effect in June and directs incoming travelers from states with a significant community spread of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for a 14-day period, was updated on October 13 and now includes Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Here are your options before travel, or after arrival:

Previously, passengers traveling to Connecticut from states affected by the state travel order were only permitted to avoid a 14-day quarantine if they were traveling for specific purposes and if they received a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut. As a result of recent changes, any passenger arriving in Connecticut from an impacted state is exempt from the 14-day quarantine period if the traveler receives a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut or after arriving in Connecticut.

Also, the Connecticut Airport Authority has launched a COVID-19 testing site at Bradley International Airport in partnership with Connecticut-based lab Genesys Diagnostics Site located in the baggage claim area. For more details, click here.

For more information about the changes and a full list of states and locations that meet these criteria, please click here.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Simplified

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, has released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

SBA and the Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly.

Click here to view the simpler loan forgiveness application.

Click here to view the instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application.

Click here to view the Interim Final Rule on the simpler forgiveness process for loans of $50,000 or less.

Department of Labor Contact Center

In case you are having any kind of issue receiving information or assistance from the Department of Labor, I wanted to be sure you were aware that they have a contact center that you can can reach out to with questions.

The contact center is open Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm and Saturday: 8:00am – 3:00pm and can be reached by calling:

1 (203) 941-6868 or
1 (800) 956-3294

As always, if you have any trouble reaching DOL, please call or email me and we may be able to help.

Additional SNAP Benefits Coming to 105,000 Households in Connecticut on October 16

The Connecticut Department of Social Services has announced that it will provide $16.2 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Friday, October 16, 2020. These benefits come in addition to the $119.6 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, July, August and September.

For additional information about SNAP, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

REMINDER: PURA Hearings on Utility Response to Tropical Storm Isaias

In August, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) initiated docket 20-08-03 to review the electric distribution companies’ responses to Storm Isaias. Three public hearings have been scheduled through online Zoom calls. Any legislator or member of the public wishing to speak may do so by registering through the web links:

While members of the public may pose questions for consideration by the Authority as it prepares for its December evidentiary hearings, please be advised that this is a listening session only and neither the Authority nor parties to the investigation will be addressing questions as part of the public comment hearings. Written testimony will also be accepted by emailing pura.information@ct.gov (include Docket No. 20-08-03 in the subject line).

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is a serious issue that is prevalent in our communities, and especially during a pandemic victims may feel trapped with domestic partners and think there are fewer resources to help them. That is not the case! Please share this information so that victims everywhere know there is still assistance out there. It could save a life.

Center for Family Justice Domestic Violence Awareness Month Virtual Vigil October 22 and Purple Thursday

The Center for Family Justice (CFJ) will be holding a virtual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Vigil this October to commemorate the lives of 14 recent victims of domestic violence homicides in Connecticut in 2019 and raise awareness about the prevalence of abuse in local communities.

The vigil, which will include political leaders and law enforcement officials from each of the six local communities CFJ serves, will be held on Facebook (@CenterforFamilyJustice) on Thursday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m. The vigil will be broadcast again on Facebook at noon on Friday, October 23.

This year’s vigil will be focused around a theme of community empowerment, encouraging residents to speak out against acts of gender-based violence and oppression in their communities. CFJ is encouraging its supporters to get involved in the national #1Thing campaign, which promotes the idea that everyone can do something to end domestic violence.

The Center will also be observing Purple Thursday on October 22 and I hope you will too! Snap some selfies or take a socially-distanced group photo with family, friends or co-workers and post it on your social media! More information can be found here.

Upcoming Events

Blood Drive Saturday, October 17

With our current medical crisis, it is more important than ever for willing and able individuals to donate blood. The American Red Cross will be hosting a blood drive in Trumbull this Saturday and if you are interested, I encourage you to make an appointment.

St. Stephen’s Church
6948 Main Street, Trumbull
Saturday, October 17, 2020
8:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m.

To Schedule An Appointment:
Visit RedCrossBlood.Org and enter 6948

Fairfield Eats

Fairfield Eats is a special promotion to support and celebrate local restaurants, and is being offered in lieu of a traditional Restaurant Week this year. It allows foodies to partake in two weeks’ worth of deals. Special offerings include price fixe menus, family meal discounts, take-out options and the chance to win a $50 gift certificate from participating restaurants. Read more about the participating restaurants at www.experiencefairfieldct.org/eats.

DPH Halloween Guidance

The Department of Public Health has released guidance on how we can celebrate Halloween this year while continuing to limit the spread of COVID-19. Recommendations include one-way trick-or-treating, ideas for social distance parties, and the kinds of parties you should avoid.

The full outline can be found by clicking here.

Safety on our Roads – Pedestrians, Bicycles, Motor Vehicles

Especially as we prepare for Halloween activities, PLEASE remember to share the road. Whether you are driving a motor vehicle, out for a bike ride, or taking a walk, and please be alert and respect others doing the same.

Review these helpful Pedestrian, Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Safety Tips offered by the Fairfield Police Department.

Stay Up-to-Date

State Resources

The state has redesigned their Coronavirus website to make it more constituent friendly. The website carries useful information and resources for many stakeholders.

The site is updated regularly and includes a helpful “frequently asked questions” guide. I’m also providing a link to the executive orders issued to date by the Governor.

State’s coronavirus information site

Click here for frequently asked questions

Emergency Executive Orders issued by the Governor 

You can also sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.

Local Resources

Updates from the Town of Fairfield are available here and from the Town of Trumbull here.

I also provide regular updates on Facebook and will continue to provide updates as this public health emergency changes.

In the meantime, I welcome hearing from you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone 860-240-8700 or email laura.devlin@housegop.ct.gov.

In closing, please stay safe and stay home. Together we can continue to flatten the curve.