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Rep. Sredzinski: State Capitol Update and Latest COVID Information

Posted on November 20, 2020 by jdooley


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week, I would like to share important updates, guidance and resources regarding COVID-19, an extension of PURA’s COVID-19 Payment Program, winter sports guidance, a new employment portal for long-term healthcare workers, additional SNAP benefits to be distributed and veterans’ federal park information.

COVID-19 Update

Updated COVID-19 Numbers

As of November 18, 2020, at 8:30 PM, the total of laboratory-confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported among Connecticut residents is 99,381, including 92,625 laboratory-confirmed and 6,756 probable cases. 

Please click here to view the most recent COVID-19 numbers, detailed by town and county.

It is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, make sure you get tested, and stay home.  To search for testing locations near you, click here.

Travel Advisory Update: Vermont Added

The regional travel advisory between Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York that went into effect in June and directs incoming travelers from states with a significant community spread of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for a 14-day period, was updated on November 17 and now includes Vermont.

**Per Executive Order 9I, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York are exempt from this travel advisory whether or not they meet the quarantine criteria.**

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Anyone arriving in Connecticut from an impacted state who receives a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut or after arriving in Connecticut is exempt from the 14-day quarantine period.

Passengers arriving at Bradley International Airport can be tested at a designated COVID-19 testing site in the baggage claim area. For more details, click here.

For more information about the changes and a full list of states and locations that meet these criteria, please click here.

Municipal Status Update

A town is under a “Red Alert” when it has at least 15 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 population. You can view the overall statistics and guidance each week by clicking here.

Holiday Guidance

With increasing COVID-19 cases across the state and nation, as we get into the holiday season it is more important than ever that we take proper precautions.

Per Phase 2.1 guidelines, private functions including Thanksgiving dinner should be limited to 10 people. Also, those who are experiencing symptoms should stay away, proper social distancing, PPE, and handwashing should be followed, and those who travel out of state must follow quarantine protocol.

Full guidance from the Department of Public Health can be found here.

PURA Extends COVID-19 Payment Program Enrollment

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has extended the enrollment period for the COVID-19 Payment Program for both residential and non-residential customers through at least February 9, 2021.

PURA encourages customers experiencing difficulty paying their utility bills to contact their utility company and ask: 

  • First, whether the residential customer is eligible to be “coded hardship” and enrolled in the Winter Protection Program.
  • Second, if ineligible for hardship status or a non-residential customer, to enroll in a COVID-19 Payment Plan.

All customers with past due balances are eligible to avoid utility shut-offs by enrolling in one of the programs provided by the state-regulated water, electric and gas utilities, Operation Fuel, or the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS).

Importantly, no customer actively enrolled in a COVID-19 Payment Program can have their service terminated for non-payment. COVID-19 payment plans are available to any residential or non-residential customer requesting assistance, without demonstrating financial need; require no initial or down payment; can be up to 24 months in length; waive any fees or interest in the calculation of the monthly payment amount; and facilitate the repayment of the past due balances in addition to the customer’s monthly bill.

For more information, contact your utility or PURA’s Consumer Affairs.

You can also call 2-1-1 or visit 211ct.org for further assistance.

All Club & Team Sports Postponed Until January 19, 2021

This week Governor Lamont announced that all local club and team sports will be paused through mid-January beginning on Monday, November 23rd.

Read more here.

ConnectToCare Portal for Long-Term Care Workforce

To address staffing needs and shortages in nursing homes statewide, the Connecticut Department of Public Health has announced the launch of the ConnectToCare online portal to match long-term care facilities in the state with hundreds of qualified potential staff.

Job seekers eligible to register for ConnectToCare include those qualified for the newly created position of Temporary Nurse Aide, but will also include those qualified for the following positions in nursing homes:

  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Registered nurses
  • Licensed vocational nurses
  • Social workers
  • Activity aides
  • Speech therapists
  • Cooks
  • Environmental service aides

Anyone who would like to register as a job seeker in long-term care in Connecticut is encouraged to do so online at www.connecttocarejobs.com.

Additional SNAP Benefits Coming to 110,000 Connecticut Households November 19

The Connecticut Department of Social Services has announced that it will provide $16 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Thursday, November 19, 2020. These benefits come in addition to the $119.6 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, July, August, September and October.

For additional information about SNAP, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

Veterans & Gold Star Families Granted Lifetime Passes to National Parks

-Veterans and Gold Star Families will receive free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Federal lands managed by U.S. Dept. of Interior. This includes 2,000 public locations spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands.

– Starting on Veteran’s Day this year (11/11/20) and everyday onward.

-Veteran is identified as an individual who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following forms of identification:

Gold Star Families are next of kin of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who lost his or her life in a “qualifying situation,” such as a war, an international terrorist attack, or a military operation outside of the U.S. while serving with the U.S. Armed Forces.

Existing Waivers

-Free annual pass for active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents. Other free or discounted passes are available for persons with permanent disabilities, fourth grade students, volunteers, and senior citizens age 62 years or older.

– Free entrance days for everyone throughout the year on the birthday of MLK Jr., National Public Lands Day, Veterans Day, and the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act.

Link to official release from USDVA : https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/80547/veterans-gold-star-families-get-free-entrance-national-parks-refuges-public-lands/

STATE RESOURCES

The state has redesigned their Coronavirus website to make it more constituent friendly. The website carries useful information and resources for many stakeholders. The site is updated regularly and includes a helpful “frequently asked questions” guide. I’m also providing a link to the executive orders issued to date by the Governor.

State’s coronavirus information site

Emergency Executive Orders issued by the Governor 

You can also sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns about any state government matter.

Sincerely,

State Rep. JP Sredzinski, 112th District

Contact Rep. JP Sredzinski

860-240-8700 | 800-842-1423

www.repsredzinski.com

jp.sredzinski@housegop.ct.gov

View a map of our district

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