Posted on May 21, 2020 by admin
Friends and Neighbors,
In press releases and during his nightly press briefing, Governor Lamont announced Executive Order 7QQ to allow all eligible residents to vote by absentee ballot for the August 11 primary.
To watch the full video of the governor’s afternoon press conference, please click here:
More information and the governor’s full press release can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/05-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-May-20
Executive Order No. 7QQ enacts the following provisions:
Governor Lamont Signs Executive Order Allowing All Eligible Connecticut Residents to Vote Absentee in August 11 Primary Elections
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he has signed an executive order allowing all registered voters in Connecticut to vote absentee in the August 11, 2020 primary elections.
Current state law authorizes the use of an absentee ballot for six reasons, including a voter’s active service in the Armed Forces; absence from town during all of the hours of voting; own illness; religious beliefs; duties as an election official; and physical disability. Governor Lamont said that as the highly contagious virus continues to spread and nearly 3,500 people in the state who have contracted the disease have died within the last two months, it is critical that state government make reasonable adjustments that reflect the current state of emergency while ensuring that the democratic process continues safely and securely.
“Nobody should need to make a decision between their health and their right to vote,” Governor Lamont said. “Our state has taken every responsible step to this point to ensure that our residents are safe, and the next step we must take is to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 when Connecticut residents cast their ballots. We must guarantee access to the ballot, and this is a way to do that during these extraordinary circumstances. I do not take this decision lightly, and it is with the public health and welfare of residents in mind.”
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has announced that she intends to mail every registered voter in the state an application they will need to fill out and return in order to obtain an absentee ballot. That application, which will be sent via U.S. Postal Service, will include a postage paid return envelope. After processing the applications at the local level, all voters who requested an absentee ballot will receive the ballots in the mail, which will also include a postage paid return envelope. Each town will also have a secure dropbox in a prominent location to allow voters to deliver their absentee ballots in person without close personal contact.
Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary was initially scheduled to be held on April 28, but to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, Governor Lamont signed executive orders rescheduling it, first to June 2 and then to August 11, the same date that the state was already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices. Moving the presidential primary to this date enables the primary for president to appear on the same ballot as those for other offices, and eliminates the need for the state to hold two separate primary elections.
**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7QQ
Connecticut Department of Public Health reports findings of deficiency in infection control in nursing homes
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today posted online findings of deficiency in 20 additional nursing homes. The findings relate to infection control and were made following focused infection control surveys of all 213 nursing homes in Connecticut that were conducted in partnership with the Connecticut National Guard and inspectors from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These involved unannounced, in-person visits to nursing homes and have also resulted in enhanced staff training and additional deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE). A key infection control procedure cited in four of the deficiency findings is cohorting, which refers to housing or grouping together nursing home residents tested positive for COVID-19 (or any other infectious disease) in order to slow down the spread of a viral infection.
There were two deficiency findings for improper notification inside the facility and to families, three findings based on improper physical distancing between residents, four findings of various other infection control problems, and 11 findings related to improper use or cleaning of PPE.
By law, the facilities have time to review and potentially dispute the findings of deficiency, and must come up with a plan of corrective action that is approved by DPH. Once the plans of correction are approved, the findings can be posted online. Since visitation to any skilled nursing facility has been banned during the course of the pandemic, DPH has posted these findings publicly online through Connecticut’s e-license website.
To view the recent findings of deficiency and corrective plans of action for individual nursing homes, search the e-license website for nursing home inspection documents that were filed between April 1, 2020 and the current date.
State establishes enforcement protocols for safe reopening
The State of Connecticut has established new enforcement protocols to ensure businesses follow the Sector Rules for May 20th Reopen designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Enforcement will be done by local health officials, local law enforcement, and municipalities. These agencies have the authority to inspect businesses for compliance with public health and the reopen sector rules established to protect businesses, employees, and residents from spreading or contracting COVID-19.
In most instances, a first violation will result in a warning and education by local law enforcement. In instances of a second or more egregious violation, law enforcement will refer complaint to the local public health department or chief elected official designee. The local public health department and chief elected official’s designee may order business closure.
Residents and employees who want to report noncompliance should contact local law enforcement or use the online complaint form at ct.gov/coronavirus. Those who do not have internet access can call 2-1-1 and an operator will fill out the form on their behalf. After submitting the form, users will receive a customized response pertinent to the complaint, including contact information for local law enforcement, local public health, CONN-OSHA, or OSHA.
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection outlines state park operations plan heading into summer season
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today released an operation plan that outlines current guidelines around the operation and use of Connecticut state park grounds, trails, beaches, boat launches, and other areas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The resource – available at portal.ct.gov/deep-parkscovid19 – provides a “one stop shop” for the latest information on outdoor recreation offerings administered by DEEP.
As the state begins a phased reopening of its economy, the vast majority of state parks remain open, as they have been throughout the pandemic. The restrictions that they’ve been operating under, such as daily capacity limits, social distancing guidelines for visitors, and use of face coverings, also remain in place.
For more information, read the press release issued today by DEEP.
Connecticut insurance commissioner approves expansion of free life insurance coverage for frontline health care workers from MassMutual
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais today announced that additional frontline health care workers and volunteers in Connecticut are now eligible to receive up to $25,000 of free term life insurance. The Connecticut Insurance Department has expedited approval of the expansion of HealthBridge, a new Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) life insurance product that offers free guaranteed issue policies to frontline health care workers and eligible volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. MassMutual has committed to providing $3 billion of insurance coverage through HealthBridge to these deserving and resilient individuals.
For more information, read the press release issued today by the Connecticut Insurance Department.
As of 4:00 p.m. tonight – Wednesday, May 20th – the state is reporting a total of 39017 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 3529.
*For public health surveillance, COVID-19-associated deaths include persons who tested positive for COVID-19 around the time of death (confirmed) and persons whose death certificate lists COVID-19 disease as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death (probable).
Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut
Updated 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Total patients who tested positive: 39017
Fairfield County: 14719
Hartford County: 9234
Litchfield County: 1299
Middlesex County: 965
New Haven County: 10587
New London County: 896
Tolland County: 786
Windham County: 329
Pending address validation: 202