I have a few updates regarding the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but first, I would like to address what has been happening in our state and across the country for the past week.
The killing of George Floyd has left so many of us frustrated and angry. To hear of another person suffering at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us is beyond disheartening. It is clear that our nation continues to struggle with racism, and this heinous act, like those before it, reveal an ongoing problem that we must all address now.
I can’t begin to imagine how this has affected our black community and our friends of color, especially the family of George Floyd. The criminal justice system failed them, and this is something we cannot tolerate. While there are those who are consumed with hate and bigotry, they are vastly outnumbered by the millions of people across America who have taken to the streets in peaceful protest against discrimination in any form. Many of those good people reside right here in New Canaan and Wilton.
This week, many residents participated in peaceful demonstrations, and I was among them. Never have I been so proud to live in a community that stands up for what is right and just. We are fortunate to have good people in our towns who speak up and act in times like this, and they are the ones who will be a part of the solution.
I am also extremely proud of our local law enforcement personnel led by Chief Leon Krolikowski and Chief John Lynch who took a stand against the kind of reprehensible behavior that took place in Minneapolis. Our police officers serve this community with pride and honor, and they strive to protect each and every one of us and our families, no matter who we are. Unfortunately, there have been many people who have turned these unifying and peaceful protests violent and deadly. We all condemn such lawlessness which takes away from the purpose of the peaceful demonstrations.
With prayer and unity, better days are ahead of us. Between the pandemic and what happened to Mr. Floyd, this year has been challenging for all of us, but it is also an opportunity to come together and move forward peacefully.
To everyone in New Canaan and Wilton, especially those who came to the marches this week, thank you. We are blessed to live in these inclusive and welcoming communities.
Please see below for updates pertaining to Connecticut’s COVID-19 response efforts, including details for the second phase of the state’s reopening.
Details for Phase Two Reopening
The governor has announced that indoor dining is slated to reopen on June 17 (Phase Two). This will allow the state more time to monitor infection rates during the warmer weather as more residents go out in public. Movie theaters, gyms, hotels and motels, outdoor amusement parks, nail salons and tattoo shops, pools and social clubs, indoor museums and aquariums, and small events, such as weddings, will also be included in the Phase Two reopening.
Click here for the latest.
Mortgage Payment Relief Program Extended
Governor Lamont and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez announced that over 45 banks and credit unions have agreed to extend their voluntary participation in the CT Mortgage Relief Program, which provides relief to consumers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program, launched on March 31, 2020 and set to expire on May 31, 2020, will now run through July 30, 2020.
Petition for Special Session
The governor, his staff, and administration have worked hard throughout this crisis, and I thank them again for rising to the occasion to slow the spread of the virus. Due to the nature of this unprecedented challenge, the legislature’s role in the decision-making process has been minimal.
As the ones in state government currently in the trenches with our constituents, we need to be a part of this process, and we are eager to get back to work on their behalf. In order to do so, members of the House and Senate must sign a petition addressed to the Connecticut Secretary of the State. This week, I signed a petition requesting an immediate special session allowing us to address the state budget, deficiency accounts, and the allocation and distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funding. It will also give us the opportunity to form a bipartisan legislative commission to review the governor’s executive orders to determine which orders should be repealed when appropriate, and which should remain in place for the time being.
Federal Funding for Municipalities
Federal assistance is now available for municipalities through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. This money will be disbursed to Connecticut cities and towns by the state through the Connecticut Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund Program. This money will be provided to local governments for non-budgeted expenses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Reimbursable expenses include personal protective equipment (PPE), food programs, related overtime and other staffing costs, law enforcement, emergency shelter, and sanitizing and cleaning.
Here are the amounts for our towns:
New Canaan: $423,720
Click here for the full release.
Update from the CT Department of Labor
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is now available. PEUC provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted their traditional unemployment benefits, as well as others who do not qualify for unemployment compensation under state or federal law. In order to receive this benefit, you must apply separately.
To learn more about PEUC and to apply, click here.
Guidance for Summer Schools
Summer schools are permitted to open beginning July 6. Capacity will be limited to one teacher and ten other individuals, including students and teacher assistants. This is assuming the learning space will allow 11 individuals to be spaced six feet apart. The superintendent will have the option to suspend summer school if public health conditions change.
Click here for the rules for summer school operations.
New Executive Order: Childcare Centers
Governor Lamont has signed Executive Order 7VV, which amends a previous executive order limiting the capacity of childcare centers to 30 children. The new order increases that number to 50. If a facility wishes to care for more than 50 children, they must obtain permission from the Office of Early Childhood.
As a reminder, these are the best regularly updated resources from global, federal, state, and local governments and agencies:
World Health Organization: Click Here
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Click Here
State of Connecticut Web Portal: Click Here
From the Governor’s Office:
CTAlerts: To subscribe, text the key word COVIDCT to 888-777
News from the governor’s office: Click Here
Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders affecting…
Town of New Canaan: Click Here
Town of Wilton: Click Here
Latest COVID-19 Data for CT
Confirmed Statewide COVID-19 Cases: 43,818
Patients Currently Hospitalized Statewide with COVID-19: 333
Confirmed Statewide COVID-19 Fatalities: 4,055
Confirmed Fairfield County Cases: 15,307
,Confirmed Fairfield County Fatalities: 1,017
Confirmed New Canaan Cases: 169
Confirmed Wilton Cases: 179
Click here to read more.
This data is accurate as of 8:30 p.m. on June 5, 2020.
As always, I will provide more updates as I receive new information. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns about the state and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any state government matter. I am more than happy to speak with you directly, provide more information if possible, and to serve as a resource for you and your families.