COVID-19 Update 3-27-2020
Here is the latest update from Governor Ned Lamont on the state's coronavirus response efforts. As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 27, 2020:
For additional data, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.
Governor Lamont signs sixteenth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
Governor Lamont signed another executive order – the sixteenth since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7O enacts the following provisions:
- Suspension of license renewals and inspections by the Department of Public Health
- Modifies health care provider identification badge requirements
- Waives the registration requirement for alcohol-based hand sanitizers and medical devices
- Waives Birth-to-Three family cost participation fees
Connecticut National Guard deploys tents expanding capacity at VA hospital in Newington, similar to the one yesterday in West Haven
The Connecticut National Guard deployed two climate-controlled tents on the grounds of the Newington V.A. Medical Center for use in dealing with potential future patient overflow. The tents are similar to the ones the Guard erected yesterday on the grounds of the V.A. hospital in West Haven.
These tents are in addition to the deployment of Connecticut Department of Public Health mobile field hospitals that were set up this week on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital. A third mobile field hospital is being prepared for deployment in the next several days at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown.
Office of Early Childhood announces funding for child care services will continue throughout the crisis
The Office of Early Childhood announced that support for child care services funded by the agency will continue throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing a critical step to keep child care programs financially stable through this difficult time. Funding streams include School Readiness, Child Day Care, Smart Start, and Care 4 Kids, serving children ranging in age from birth through age 12.
In addition, the agency is releasing up to $4.5 million in Public Health Emergency Response Grant Funds to incentivize and support public and private programs that re-open or remain open to provide child care for children of health workers and first responders. These funds are available only during the period in which Governor Lamont’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order remains in effect.
For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on child care in Connecticut, read the FAQ provided by the Office of Early Childhood. The agency is also distributing a flyer to essential workers containing information on how they can obtain needed child care throughout this emergency period.
Department of Economic and Community Development doubles first round of funding for Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program to $50 million, hits pause on new applications
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner (DECD) David Lehman announced that the agency is doubling the first round of funding for the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program to $50 million, and that as of 6:00 p.m. today it has stopped accepting new applications under this initial round.
The program, which launched Thursday morning, was created by Governor Lamont and DECD to provide Connecticut’s small businesses and nonprofits that are being negatively impacted by the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic with immediate cash flow through one-year, no-interest loans. During the first 24 hours, DECD has received more than 4,000 applications. The agency, along with its partner Connecticut Innovations, is assigning additional staff to process the applications.
DECD is encouraging Connecticut businesses and nonprofits to apply for disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Details on the forthcoming federal stimulus, which will provide direct assistance to small businesses and individuals, can be found here.
DMV allows driving schools to temporarily provide online training
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Sibongile Magubane – acting under the authority of a recent executive order signed by Governor Lamont – today approved a request from licensed driving schools in the state to provide online classroom training to their students during the COVID-19 crisis.
Driving schools were notified on Thursday of the approval. It is effective immediately and will continue until further notice.
Connecticut Department of Transportation issues update on rail service
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced a series of changes to rail service and issued reminders about the status of bus service. The rail service changes follow a significant decline in ridership, the result of increased teleworking and requests by Governor Lamont for residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.”
The changes include:
- New Haven Line: Beginning Monday, March 30, the New Haven Line will operate on an hourly schedule, with extra trains during peak times weekdays. This is approximately 50 percent less than a normal weekday schedule. The New Canaan Line, Danbury Line, and Waterbury Line will also operate on a reduced schedule.
- Hartford Line: Beginning Monday, March 30, the Hartford Line, including both CTrail Hartford Line trains as well as Amtrak trains, will run on a new special weekday schedule. The new schedule will be posted on the Hartford Line website and at Hartford Line train stations.
- Shore Line East: Shore Line East will continue to operate on a weekend schedule seven days a week.
All rail customers are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets before boarding. Hartford Line and Shore Line East customers may purchase rail tickets using the CTrail e-Tix mobile app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) or through ticket vending machines located at New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street Station, and all Hartford Line stations.
Bus service throughout the state continues to operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions. CTtransit buses to Hartford are operating on a reduced schedule due to significantly lower ridership. In all locations statewide, customers must board from the rear door (when available) with the exception of persons in wheelchairs and others who require the bus to kneel.
For more information, read the press release issued by CTDOT.
Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.
Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It 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.