Posted on March 13, 2020 by hbrooks
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Ned Lamont, in concurrence with legislative leadership, has declared civil preparedness and public health emergencies that enable the government to take specific, swift actions deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of the public. In addition, the state legislature in March approved $5 million in grants to state agencies for equipment, supplies, and facilities needed to combat this growing outbreak.
Of course, there are many steps that individuals can take to significantly lower their risk of contracting this disease and slow the rate of community transmission:
The governor’s administration has released a compilation of frequently asked questions related to the state’s response to COVID-19. You can access the document directly by clicking here (best option for mobile devices), or you can click on the icon below.
Governor Ned Lamont’s office has taken multiple actions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus:
Effective Monday, March 23, at 8:00pm, Governor Ned Lamont has ordered all “non-essential” businesses to close in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. This does NOT include grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, restaurants with to-go menus, and other essential businesses. The full guidance, with a complete list of sectors that are able to stay open, can be accessed by clicking here.
All school districts in the state will remain closed until at least Wednesday, May 20. The governor is closely monitoring the outbreak and will make a determination in the coming weeks about extending the closure further. Read the latest executive order here.
The Department of Revenue Services has also extended the state personal income tax filing deadline to July 15.
Local, State, and Federal Resources:
Government agencies and healthcare organizations are continually releasing resources for those with questions or concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak. Here is a non-comprehensive list of some of those resources:
The governor has also 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.
I also encourage you to regularly check local health department and school district websites for the most up-to-date information on school and public building closures:
COVID-19 Testing Information:
I understand that there may be many questions about the state’s testing capacity. In addition to the State Laboratory, 15 medical facilities across the state have the capacity to perform COVID-19 testing. That capacity continues to increase as more support from the federal government becomes available. At this time, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is recommending that anybody who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, shortness of breath, and/or fever) or who has traveled to an area where the disease is highly prevalent to contact their healthcare provider to determine whether a test is required. Please also note that a doctor’s order is required for testing to take place.
Moratorium on Utility Shut-Offs
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has ordered the gas, electric, and water public service companies regulated by the Authority to implement a Shut-off Moratorium and refrain from terminating utility service to residential customers, except for reasons of public safety, for the duration of the Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergency declared by Governor Lamont on March 10, 2020, or until such other time determined by the Authority.
Information About Scams
Crises like the COVID-19 outbreak often have many people worried about financial security, and unfortunately, there are scammers taking advantage of this.
To that end, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers (NAIFA) is working with FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) to offer credible resources to consumers about ongoing COVID-19-related scams; tips on who to contact regarding health claims/questions; and information on how to find licensed, knowledgeable, ethical professionals to assist with financial security planning.
I encourage you to explore NAIFA’s free consumer website, which is complete with a Frequently Asked Questions section and a list of resources for businesses and families. Click here to access the site.
Please remain vigilant during these troubling times by understanding the warning signals of a scam and by only providing personal information to sources you trust.
As part of the effort to slow the spread of the outbreak, 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.
I understand that these are uncertain times for many families in Monroe and Newtown, but rest assured knowing that state government is working collaboratively to combat COVID-19 and contain the public health risk it poses. If you have any concerns or would like more information about how our government is handling the outbreak, please do not hesitate to email me at JP.Sredzinski@housegop.ct.gov.