Posted on April 23, 2020 by admin
Friends and Neighbors,
Governor Lamont this evening announced Executive Order 7DD.
The Order modifies state statutes to expand the definition of telehealth providers to include dentists, behavioral analysts, art and music therapists and more. It also allows the DPH Commissioner to suspend certain licensing requirements, including licensing, supervision and continuing education, for healthcare professionals during the pandemic.
To watch the full video of the governor’s afternoon press conference, please click here:
Executive Order No. 7DD enacts the following provisions:
The governor’s full press release can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-April-22
The Executive Order can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7DD.pdf
Lamont administration initiates discussions with New York and New Jersey on a regional contract tracing strategy
The Lamont administration announced today that it has initiated discussions with the governors of New York and New Jersey regarding a regional contact tracing strategy. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a partnership with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg through the Bloomberg Philanthropies. Governor Lamont expressed the need for a regional approach concerning contact tracing that complements existing staff, volunteers, processes, and technology as all of the states’ residents are in contact with each other on a regular basis, especially commuters in and out of New York City.
Update on the processing of unemployment claims by the Connecticut Department of Labor
As of today, the Connecticut Department of Labor has processed more than 320,000 of the 397,000 unemployment claims it has received since March 13.
Prior to a software improvement that was implemented last week, the processing time was about six weeks. With the new technology enhancements, that processing time has been reduced to about three weeks, and the agency is on target to reduce that time further to one week by the close of this week. Benefits will be retroactive to the date a person needed to apply. Anyone who is filing for benefits is strongly encouraged to select direct deposit since this is the quickest method to receive the benefits.
Connecticut receives $2 million federal grant for mental health services in response to pandemic
The State of Connecticut has been awarded a $2 million grant from the federal government to address behavioral health care needs of specific populations in the state that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. The grant, awarded to the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will support service needs over the next year and a half. Its primary focus is to address the needs of persons with severe mental illness, substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, youth with severe emotional disturbances and their families, individuals with less severe mental health conditions, and healthcare practitioners.
The funding will be used by DMHAS to launch the Connecticut COVID-19 Behavioral Health Response and Assistance (Connecticut COBHRA) initiative. It will be a collaborative effort that includes the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF). The grant will support a number of activities focused on improving the health outcomes of those individuals affected by COVID-19 including:
The grant will also increase services for victims of intimate partner violence and support the behavioral health needs of health care practitioners. A final component of the grant will provide support to employee assistance programs at DMHAS-funded agencies.
More information can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-April-22
Insurance Companies Cover Cost of Testing/Treatment
All fully-insured plan health plan members, including those with high-deductible health plans, are now receiving testing and treatment for COVID-19 with no out of pocket costs.
Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais commended the state’s insurance carriers that offer fully-insured health plans for waiving COVID-19 all pandemic related out of pocket costs for testing and treatment. The Commissioner also urges all employers who offer workers a self-funded plan under ERISA to waive testing and treatment costs as well.
More information can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/CID/News-Releases/Press-Releases/Press-Releases-20200415B
Stimulus Check Information for Those Who May Not File a Tax Return
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service is sending ‘Economic Impact Payments’ to American households. To track those payments, the IRS created a special website at: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.
According to the Department of Social Services, Even if you don’t make enough money to file a federal tax return, you are probably eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. Special information for non-filers can be found at: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.
A group of non-profit Connecticut legal aid organizations has also posted helpful information at www.CTLawHelp.org/coronavirus.
**Please note: receiving Economic Impact Payments will NOT affect eligibility for Medicaid/HUSKY Health, SNAP or other DSS programs.
More information can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-use-the-tools-on-irsgov-to-get-your-economic-impact-payment
The Department of Social Services continues to update information on their COVID-specific web page: https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/Communications/DSS-Response-to-COVID-19
As of 4:00 p.m. tonight – Wednesday, April 22nd – the state has diagnosed a total of 22469 cases of Coronavirus. Updated virus totals and Town-by-Town statistics can be accessed here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
The total statewide number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is 1544.
Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut
Updated 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Total patients who tested positive: 22469
Fairfield County: 9883
Hartford County: 4128
Litchfield County: 722
Middlesex County: 525
New Haven County: 5811
New London County: 397
Tolland County: 331
Windham County: 122
Pending address validation: 550