Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources


I want to take this opportunity to share state and local resources and information available to you in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The state of Connecticut has launched an extensive website portal.ct.gov/coronavirus with daily updates on the situation as it develops and serves as a directory to other helpful online resources. This website has helpful information for families, businesses and community groups.

Additionally, the state has launched a 24/7 hotline, in cooperation with United Way of Connecticut, for questions from the public regarding issues related to the spread of coronavirus. People with questions can call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211 for the most up-to-date information. 

Governor Lamont has declared a civil preparedness and public health emergency for the State of Connecticut in response to recent cases of coronavirus, and he and public health officials will provide daily updates on the situation as it develops.

March 13th Update Click Here

March 14th Update Click Here 

March 15th Update Click Here

March 16th Update Click Here

March 17th Update Click Here

March 18th Update Click Here

March 18th Update No.2 Click Here

March 18th Update No.3 Click Here

March 19th Update Click Here

March 19th Update No.2 Click Here

March 19th Update No.3 Click Here

March 20th Update Click Here

March 21st Update Click Here

March 22nd Update Click Here

March 22nd Update No.2 Click Here

March 22nd Update No.3 Click Here

Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut
Updated 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020

Total patients who tested positive: 327

Fairfield County: 208

Hartford County: 54

Litchfield County: 12

Middlesex County: 6

New Haven County: 29

New London County: 3

Tolland County: 14

Windham County: 1

Tables containing data about all of the test results completed to date, including a breakdown of the locations and ages of the patients, can be found by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive orders:

Executive Order No. 7

Executive Order No. 7A

Executive Order No. 7B

Executive Order No. 7C

Executive Order No. 7D

Executive Order No. 7E

Executive Order No. 7F

Executive Order No. 7G

Executive Order No. 7H

Executive Order No. 7I

Executive Order No. 7J

The state’s Department of Public Health (DPH), with the support of several state agencies, launched the State of Connecticut Joint Information Center (JIC) as part of a coordinated effort to provide critical institutions playing a major role in the response with information on developments related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The JIC is intended to provide all stakeholders – including the media, municipalities, school districts, hospitals, medical providers, colleges and universities, the business community, and others – with a resource to for specific information related to the State of Connecticut and its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The JIC can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 860-754-8342 or emailing COVID19.JIC@ct.gov.

Information from the JIC will also be shared on its Twitter account at @COVID19CT and on Facebook at CT COVID-19 Response.

The JIC has established operations within the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Hartford and is being headed by DPH in coordination with the Office of the Governor, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (including the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and the State Police), the Department of Economic and Community Development, the State Department of Education, the Office of Early Childhood, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Social Services, and others.

Local Resources

Information for Businesses

Disaster relief available to provide assistance for small business owners

Connecticut small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can now apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (up to $2 million) through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

You can learn more about the program and its three-step process in English or Spanish at www.sba.gov/disaster, and begin the online application process here.  Or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.

Additionally, small business owners with questions about the SBA loan program or other types of state-level assistance can call 860-500-2333 to speak with a representative from the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

DRS extends filing deadline for certain annual state business tax returns

Consistent with the emergency declarations, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is granting an automatic extension of Connecticut filing deadlines for certain annual state tax returns as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Effective immediately, the filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15, 2020, and before June 1, 2020, are extended by 30 days. In addition, the payments associated with these returns are also extended to the corresponding due date in June.

The impacted returns and the associated filing dates and payment deadlines are set forth below:

  • 2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Though Entity Tax Return – filing date extended to April 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
  • 2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return – filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
  • 2019 Form CT-1120 and CT-1120CU Connecticut Corporation Business Return – filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020

Additional updates will be posted to the DRS website.

State working with small businesses impacted by coronavirus

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is working with small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, the agency will defer loan payments for all Small Business Express loans for three months. Additional details include:

  • The Small Business Express program has approximately 800 outstanding loans with an aggregate loan balance of approximately $110 million.
  • The average loan has a five-year remaining term.
  • Approximately $5 million in loan payments will be deferred.
  • In addition, the state agency is making efforts accommodate other businesses with DECD loans that are being impacted.

Education Information, including school meal program

Meals available for students attending schools closed due to COVID-19

The Connecticut State Department of Education received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow students who are enrolled in schools that are closed due to COVID-19 and who receive meals through the school lunch program to continue receiving those meals and for them to be consumed at home, allowing for social distancing. This action is effective immediately.

Similar to how the summer lunch program operates, parents and students can show up at their school and receive a lunch for the student and other children in the household under the age of 18 and take the lunch home with them. The meals do not have to be consumed on school premises. Only one student in a household must be present to receive multiple meals for every child 18 years old and under in their household.

Continuation of learning programs:

Scholastic learn at home: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

Virtual College Tours:  https://www.youvisit.com/collegesearch/

 

Husky Health Services

Expansion of Telemedicine Coverage for Medicaid/HUSKY Health Services

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) is implementing changes in Medicaid/HUSKY Health that will support Connecticut’s COVID-19 preparedness and response through increased access to health services.Specifically, for approximately 850,000 enrolled residents, DSS will cover identified telemedicine services, effective today.

DSS is also planning to cover testing for COVID-19; make prescription drug coverage more flexible; and eliminate cost sharing in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (HUSKY B) and for members enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.

At this time, telemedicine coverage includes:

  • Real-time video conferencing, as can be enabled with a smart phone, between HUSKY Health members and their health care providers for specific medical and behavioral health services. This will enable many members and doctors to communicate remotely, with Medicaid covering the virtual visit.
  • Broadening video conferencing in general to include all primary care type evaluation and management services for medical and behavioral health.
Medicare Expansion of Telemedicine
Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to the current Public Health Emergency. These services expand the current telehealth covered services, to help you have access from more places (including your home), with a wider range of communication tools (including smartphones), to interact with a range of providers (such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social worker). During this time, you will be able to receive a specific set of services through telehealth including evaluation and management visits (common office visits), mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. This will help ensure you are able to visit with your doctor from your home, without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, which puts you and others at risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • You may be able to communicate with your doctors or certain other practitioners without necessarily going to the doctor’s office in person for a full visit. Medicare pays for “virtual check-ins”—brief, virtual services with your established physician or certain practitioners where the communication isn’t related to a medical visit within the previous 7 days and doesn’t lead to a medical visit within the next 24 hours (or soonest appointment available).
  • You need to consent verbally to using virtual check-ins and your doctor must document that consent in your medical record before you use this service. You pay your usual Medicare coinsurance and deductible for these services.
  • Medicare also pays for you to communicate with your doctors using online patient portals without going to the doctor’s office. Like the virtual check-ins, you must initiate these individual communications.
  • If you live in a rural area, you may use communication technology to have full visits with your doctors. The law requires that these visits take place at specified sites of service, known as telehealth originating sites, and get services using a real-time audio and video communication system at the site to communicate with a remotely located doctor or certain other types of practitioners. Medicare pays for many medical visits through this telehealth benefit.

Click here for more information

Unemployment/Layoff Information

Connecticut Department of Labor modifies unemployment insurance, offers programs

The Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) has created a helpful informational FAQ for employees and employers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. This information includes guidance about unemployment insurance, paid sick leave and absences, wages and hours, and family medical leave. Click Here to access the FAQ page.

DOL Commissioner Westby is suspending the requirement that workers applying for new unemployment benefits directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic be actively searching for work.

Unemployment benefits are available to workers whose employer needs to temporarily shut down or slow down business. Employees who are furloughed by the emergency but expect to return to work can access up to at least six weeks of benefits. Employers reducing hours but not furloughing employees can partner with CTDOL’s Shared Work program, which allows employers to reduce employees’ work schedules by 10 percent to 60 percent and supplement lost wages with unemployment benefits.

Connecticut unemployment insurance already excluded the waiting period other states have removed.

For a document containing a list of Frequently Asked Questions for workers and businesses regarding unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 outbreak, click here.

AccessHealthCT

Anyone who loses employment qualifies for health insurance through AccessHealthCT

Office of Health Strategy Executive Director Vicki Veltri is reminding all Connecticut residents that any worker in the state who receives health insurance through their employer, becomes unemployed, and loses minimum essential coverage or receives COBRA – whether it is due to the COVID-19 outbreak or otherwise – qualifies all year-long for open enrollment through AccessHealthCT, the state’s health insurance marketplace. Those interested in applying can find more information at learn.accesshealthct.com/special.

Utilities Information

Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority orders moratorium on shut-offs

In response to a petition filed yesterday by Attorney General William Tong, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has ordered the gas, electric, and water public service companies it regulates to implement a shut-off moratorium and refrain from terminating utility service to residential customers, except for reasons of public safety, for a 30-day period subject to renewal to ensure all residents may safely remain home during the epidemic.

State Closures

Temporary suspension of certain state agency programs and services

Several Connecticut state agencies have made the decision to temporarily suspend certain programs and services in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to state employees and the public. The closures include:

  • Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

DEEP is closing all of its visitor centers and facilities associates with its State Parks that are open to the public and receive significant visitor traffic throughout the day. Examples include the visitor center at Dinosaur State Park and the Meigs Point Nature Center at Hammonasset State Park. The closures are effective immediately.

DEEP is also immediately suspending large gatherings at all of their facilities and parks. These include, for example, weddings that are held at Harkness Memorial State Park. The agency is typically required to provide custodial and other facilities support for these kinds of events. DEEP is sending cancellation notices to the groups that made reservations for these large gatherings through at least the end of April.

  • Department of Labor (CTDOL)

CTDOL is suspending the federal RESEA work-search program effective immediately. This program involves a more intensive process that mandates recipients of unemployment insurance go to the American Job Centers in person and receive one-on-one help. The agency anticipated serving 9,030 people this year. Suspending this program will reduce traffic in the centers and help limit in-person contact with the public. The agency still anticipates reaching its goal of serving 9,030 people this year.

Other Things to do

Social distancing doesn’t have to be boring, and there are myriad activities available from taking a walk or a hike, riding a bicycle, reading a good book or taking a virtual tour of a magnificent gallery or museum. The links below offer great starting points, but I know you’ll also find other fun things to do.

Click here for great kid-friendly resources, complete with interactive games and quizzes, that may help your little ones understand the virus.

CT Trails: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Listing-of-State-Parks

Hike at a land preserve: http://www.ctconservation.org/findalandtrust

Find a hiking trail : https://www.ctwoodlands.org/

Online tours:

Museum of Natural History:  http://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour

Guggenheim Museum: https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/extending-the-museum-experience-with-virtual-reality

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/streetviews

Science Fun for Everyone: http://www.sciencefun.org/kidszone/experiments/

British Museum Virtual Tour: https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
EBooks/Audiobooks from the Silas Bronson: http://www.bronsonlibrary.org/ebooks

Live presentations from the New England Aquarium:  https://www.neaq.org/visit/at-home-events-and-activities/

Providing Continuing Information to Connecticut Residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, all residents in the state are encouraged to visit  https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline only 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 to seek treatment.

Legislative Business

As part of the effort to slow the spread of the outbreak, the legislative leaders have announced the closure of the Legislative Office Building and State Capitol until Monday, March 30th. During this time the building will undergo a thorough cleaning and employees will continue working remotely. The General Assembly is currently convened in the “short session” which runs from February 5th through May 6th. Leaders of the House and Senate Republican and Democrat caucuses will continue to meet and discuss the extension of committee deadlines and how to proceed with legislative business.

Please share these resources with anyone you think may benefit from this information.